A Warning to the young.......and the old too. I thought I would tell you guys about my battle with cancer last summer. The reason I made the title about the young thing is because I know how most young people are when it comes to thoughts of cancer (because I'm only 26). It actually started in about January or Febuary of last year. I had a lump form on my shoulder that hurt like hell. I thought it was because we had been out in the yard playing. I didn't know if I had torn something and it was fluid building up or what. I guess it was just wishfull thinking. I finally went to the doctor in Aprl. She checked me out, asked some questions and ran some tests and told me she would call me back later with the results. She called a couple of days later but didn't really tell me anything. That was my first hint about the cancer. She basically told me my counts were screwed up and that I would need to have some more tests done. They basically took more blood and did some x-rays. The x-rays showed that my lymph nodes in my chest were enlarged and my blood still showed that my counts were off. So I had to have a biopsy done on the lump on my shoulder which confirmed the suspicion of cancer. So she referred me to an oncologist that took over from there and told me that I had Hodgkins Lymphoma. One of the first things I had to do was a bone marrow biopsy. Let me tell you what, that SUCKED. She basically took a big cork screw and pushed as hard as she could into the back of my hip to get the bone marrow. The bone marrow biopsy showed that the cancer had not made it to my bone marrow. I also had to have a CT scan done which showed that I had the cancer in about 4 different areas of my body and that put at stage 3 of the cancer. I also had to do an EKG and breathing test so that they could check me after all of the treatments for any side effects. Then it was time for her to figure out what to give me and at what dose. I was going to have a treatment every other week until I had gone through 12 treatments. I can't even remember what they put into me but it took a toll on my body. The first treament I went through was given in my arm. First off, my veins suck. I have never had good veins and it was even more evident when it came treatment time. They finely got the IV in me and it was time for the drugs. The first three were ok, they didn't hurt, but the last one sucked. It felt like they were shooting fire into my arm it burned so bad. It took around 3 hours just to do the last one. So it was time for me to get a port. I went and got the port put in, which was nice once I had it done. It made the treatments go a lot smoother. I'll explain a little if you have never heard of someone having a port. They basically make an incision on the left or right side of your chest (I have mine on the left since I am prodominantly right handed). They insert a disc and a small tube. They basically stitch the disc into your muscle and then connect the tube to the disc and insert the tube into one of your main veins. Having this makes it easier to get the medicine and it generally isn't as painfull. My treatments went pretty well once I had this done. The only thing that held me back any was when my white bllod cell count dropped. I had to have a couple of treatments put off and I had to start getting shots. Sassy gave me the shoots in the stomach and I think she kind of enjoyed it . In fact, my cancer was gone on the scans after 8 treatments but I went ahead and had 3 more. I know I said I was suppose to have 12 but the Sunday before I was suppose to have my 12th treatment I came down with appendisitis and had to have my appendix removed. So that kind of put a stop to my treatment for that week. We ended up deciding that my cancer was gone after 8 treatments and there was no gaurantee either way that the cancer wouldn't come back and the fact that I was tired of going through the treatments didn't help. I had a scan last month and the cancer has not come back. I still have to go through some other stuff but none of it is that bad. I also have to go get my port flushed out. Anyway. I may have left out some details but that is basically what I went through. You have to remember I was going through this while working, trying to help Sassy with the house and kids and we were expecting our 3rd child (who is driving me up the freaking wall at the moment). I guess I just wanted to tell you guys about my experience b/c I can imagine some of you thinking, "I'm young, I don't have to worry about cancer.". I can tell you from experience, it isn't true. Cancer knows no age, race, gender, etc., it can happen to you. It happened to me. I was lucky, I have a very supportive wife, family, and friends, I have a good doctor, and I am VERY hardheaded (I wasn't going to let some little thing like cancer get in my way ). So if you have a little lump that doesn't make sense, go to the doctor. If something just makes you feel a little off, go to the doctor. It could be nothing but it could turn into something. I would have been done way before Christmas time had I gone to the doctor when I first noticed the pain and lump. Hopefully none of you will have to go through something like this because it sucks. If you do happen to have it happen to you or someone close to you, feel free to PM me or whatever. I will tell you whatever I can about it, one of the biggest things that helped me was all of the support I received from all over the place.