Chemo with Stem Cell after bad results from ABVD

Hi Guys,
First time using this web page/forum.

I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkins in my neck and chest and began ABVD. After 3 cycles I had a PET scan and it was extremely positive with only a very faint spot (node) in my chest, after finishing 6 cycles and waiting 7 weeks for final PET scan the results showed cancer had grown. I had a biopsy and it was confirmed I still had Hodgkins. The doctors believe this is the primary spot of the cancer in my chest.

I have now been told that next week I will begin high intensity chemo (DHAP) with stem cell recovery and more chemo. Then most likely will have radiotherapy.

Through ABVD I had been positive about the situation, especially with the good results. I’m now not so great due to the stress this will have on my body. Also I am 27 years old and the doctor has explained he does not think there is time to take my eggs and explained about fertility. This of course has upset me greatly because its going to change mine and my partners life dramatically.

I’m wondering has anyone gone through any similar regards to both the treatment side of high intensity chemo with stem cell and also fertility issues. Any advise would be fantastic.

Thank you.

Hi Victoria

Sorry to hear your condition. I have had somewhat similar history to you, so you may find my experience informative.

In 2009, when I was 44, I was diagnosed with both NHL and HL. In 2010, I had ABVD, but I had recurrence in 2011. In 2012, I went through intensive Chemo and Autologous Stem cell Transplant. Since then, I had a pretty good run till now. Since, 2012 I built up my physical strength (intensive Chemo did wear me down). Until two months ago, I was officially in remission and can cycle 50 km at least once a weak.

I suggest you keep your mind positive. Take this as a rough journey, but you will complete the journey and come out stronger. During your Chemo, keep doing some exercise like walking for an hour. My experience was right at the end of Chemo cycles, I was getting very weak. My wife was a rock for me, kept me well fed (five small meals a day, as opposed to three normal meals), juicing, walks and rest.

Unfortunately, two months ago I had a lump. Still waiting for proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

With respect to fertility, I suggest go with the flow. Freeze some of your eggs. I was fortunate, I have two lovely children.

Good luck.