lymphoma treatment

April 2009: Age 26 leading an active, healthy lifestyle and diet; no history of medical complications. Symptoms began mid-April, including enlarged lymph nodes on neck, collarbone and armpit, fatigue, weight loss, left leg weakness and numbness, and night sweats.

May 8, 2009: Diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin Lymphoma (refractory) at Hartford Hospital's Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center, Hartford, Conn. Immediately began frontline chemotherapy treatment.

May-Nov 2009: Six cycles (months) of ABVD chemotherapy (Adriamycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine, and Dacarbazine). PET Scan in September revealed near-perfect response

Nov 2009Concerns of disease growth because of hot spots on PET Scan and symptoms, including night sweats and chest fullness 

Jan 2010Relapse confirmed by lymph node biopsy from chest

Feb 2010: Underwent embryo preservation procedure in anticipation of early menopause due to high-dose treatment to follow

Feb-June 2010: Double Autologous Stem Cell Transplant using my own stem cells harvested after high-dose chemotherapy at Yale New Haven's Smilow Cancer Center, New Haven, Conn. Lead-in treatment

July 2010: Significant cancer growth revealed on PET Scan one month post transplant. Symptoms included chest fullness, fevers, night sweats, coughing and swollen lymph nodes in armpit and collar bone. Began seeking treatment combination that would put me into sufficient remission to go forward with necessary Allogeneic (Donor) Stem Cell Transplant 

July-Sept 2010: Three cycles of GND chemotherapy (Gemzar, Navelbine, Doxil) at Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn. 

Oct-Nov 2010: Two cycles of Bendamustine on clinical trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

Dec 2010-March 2011: Four cycles of SGN-35 acquired on compassionate use basis through Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

April-May 2011: Two cycles (months) in Phase I/II Clinical Trial of Panobinostat (LBH589) and Everolimus (RAD001) at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas

End of May 2011: Achieved Partial Remission 

June 2011: Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant using sister's 10/10 HLA match donor stem cells at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York. Lead-in treatment

  • June 9: Admitted as inpatient for six days of conditioning chemotherapy using Fludarabine and Melphalan, plus Methotrexate injections
  • June 16, 2011: Day 0 of Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant - my sister's cells were transfused into me
  • July 5: Released from hospital after 27 days of isolation to live and recover at American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge in midtown Manhattan
  • Sept 2: Released from Hope Lodge to return home and continue recovery on Transplant Day +78

Sept 11, 2011: Broke my foot 

August 2011: Vorinostat (SAHA) daily targeted, novel chemotherapy drug from approximately 3 weeks. It caused tremendous GI issues and anorexia and I was pulled off drug due to severe weight loss. 

Nov 2011: Relapse - revealed on PET Scan and confirmed by biopsy of bone in right sacrum revealing classical HD 

Nov-Dec 2011: Revlimid (lenaldiomide) 5mg given in hopes to stimulate donated immune system and also have anti-lymphoma effect 

Dec 2011: Severe pain in hips, back and sacrum set in. Emergency PET/CT Scan confirmed increased cancer growth

Late-Dec 2011 - Feb 2012: Five cycles of Vinblastine (weekly to bi-weekly) to melt flaring disease 

Feb 2012: PET Scan showed overall disease reduction, though with more significant hot spotting on T10 vertebrae and in sacrum

Feb 27-April 30, 2012: course of 50mg Prednisone steroid with 3-week taper off beginning April 9

March 9-March 21, 2012: 10 days of highly targeted radiation to T7 and T10 vertebrae and lower sacrum

March 23, 2012: PET Scan revealed spots on bones completely eliminated from radiation treatment, though mild increased uptake in lymph nodes in chest and abdomen and spot on femur bone

April 18-May, 2012: Cyclophosphamide, Etoposide, Procarbazine oral chemotherapies taken at three different times throughout day for 7 days, then 7 day recovery period. Scans showed mixed results and side effects were too debilitating. 

May 2012 to currently: SGN-35 aka Adcetris or Brentuximab Vedotin infusion received once every three weeks. 

July 10, 2012: PET Scan revealed lymphoma areas in chest and abdomen resolved and areas in bone stable. Plan to continue with monthly SGN-35 infusions 

Oct 1, 2012: PET Scan revealed lymphoma growth while on SGN-35. Taken off of drug. 

Oct. 11, 2012: Started Revlimid (lenalidomide) 10mg pills - immunomodulating drug. Currently taking the treatment orally each day along with 10mg Prednisone. 

Jan. 9, 2013: PET/CT Scan revealed growth while on Revlimid. Taken off of drug. 

Feb. 5, 2013: Started clinical trial of Brentuximab Vedotin (SGN-35 or Adcetris) and Bendamustine. Infused once every 21 days. Completed 2 cycles. 

March 13, 2013: PET Scan revealed shrinkage of bone disease, but new lymph node growth. Taken off trial.