03/03/2021:  PET/CT Scan Results from Scan #to be counted @ EJGH

These results are showing the same, that same area, the left para-aortic lymph node now 5.3 x 4.6 with an SUV of 19.6  So its increasingly growing in side and intensity.  Time to get an appointment again with Dr. Veith and figure out the next course of action.  Probably a biopsy of the node.

03/05/2020: PET/CT Scan Results from Scan #to be counted @ EJGH

These results are showing the same, that same area, the left para-aortic lymph node now 4.2 x 3.6 with an SUV of 10.2  So its growing in side and intensity.

07/03/2019: PET/CT Scan Results from Scan #to be counted @ Tulane University

These results show that most of the activity is background or nothing to worry about, calcification of older sites that have been treated.  However there is one issue of concern, the left para-aortic area with a 3.2 x 3.8 lesion with a 9 SUV.  Dr. Safah is no longer doing Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, so I will have to start following up with another doctor, probably time to return to Dr. Veith at EJGH.

07/02/2015: PET/CT Scan Results from Scan #11 – Time for MD Anderson

It’s my turn to be seen by the doctor and she walks into the room.  My mother and my sister are both there, my sister was not a match to be the Stem Cell Transplant donor.  Dr. Safah is disappointed in the PET/CT results.  She said that the brentuximab is not doing it’s job, the cancer is showing a mixed response to the chemo.  Some is reacting to the chemo, some is not.  There are two spots of concern, one in the chest and one in the abdomen that are not showing any reactions to the chemo.  She said there is nothing else that she can give me to try to control and fight the cancer, and that she would be referring me to MD Anderson.  She needed to get the cancer under control before proceeding with the second stem cell transplant, but since she cannot get it under control, she can not move forward with the stem cell transplant because it would not yield the same results and be an answer since there is more disease, and it is not pushed into control.  She said that there is a trial/study drug going on at MD Anderson that is looking promising and she is hoping that they can use that drug which is known as nivolumab, can be used on me to see if that will suppress the cancer, and then possibly follow up with a stem cell transplant after that.  However, just as before when Dr. Veith referred me to Dr. Safah, Dr. Veith was no longer in the driver’s seat, now Dr. Safah is referring me to MD Anderson, MD Anderson will now take complete control of my health.  Just one step at a time, hopefully this time better results will come about.

PET/CT Scan Results:




03/19/2014: PET Scan Results from 03/18/2015 – Scan #10:

I meet with Dr. Safah.  She is not happy with the results at all.  She said that the Lymphoma appears to have relapsed.  There are new small spots showing, and the abdomen where the Shingles were, has only continue to grow bigger with an SUV over 10.  She said it is time to start preparing for Transplant #2.  This time it will be an allogenic transplant, rather than an autologous transplant.  This means that the stem cells will come from someone else.  My sisters will be worked up to see if they are a match, if they are, they will need to go through everything that I went through last time, in preparation and harvesting of their stem cells, the constant shots to increase the number of stemcells in the blood stream, and then the pheresis process to collect the stem cells pulling blood from them pulling out just the stem cells and then putting the blood back into their body.  Anyways she orders bloodwork, and swabs.  I will be meeting with a Dr. Weaver on Tuesday to discuss how the biopsy will be done to obtain access to the lymphnodes in question.  It will most probably happen via Mediastinoscopy.  Once the biopsy is in and if it confirms the progression of the disease, then brentuximab for 3 or so cycles, then Transplant #2.  Transplant #2 includes additional risk, as now I am getting someone elses’s cells.  Graft-versus-host disease is the main concern as the transplanted cells may start to attack me, which is wanted to cure the cancer, but not completely as then greater life threatening risk come into play.  Dr. Safah assures me this can usually be kept in control with blood test and open communication about anything and everything with me and her.  The fun has just begun.





09/18/2014: PET Scan Results from 09/17/2014 – Scan #9:

Dr. Safah is still pleased with the results in the chest and neck as everything is showing little to no activity which is normal.  So as far as my chest and neck are concerned we are pretty much in the clear, however the spots in the abdomen are still there.  It has been 6 months. since the shingles, and the third scan that shows these spots.  Dr. Safah gives me an ultimatum.  We can either biopsy the spots now and find out what they are if anything and begin treatment if they are something, or we can wait another 6 months and take another scan then and then take action if needed.  She said three months is not enough time to wait this time, since we have the same results the past 3 scans which have been three months apart each.  She feels safe waiting 6 months and then doing another scan.  I opt for waiting the 6 months and then doing another scan since there has been no major changes, and everything has been pretty much stable and not really increasing in size or uptake.  Dr. Safah tells me that if the spots are still there in 6 months, then we will go ahead and do a biopsy to find out what it is, and then begin treatment.  More chemotherapy, another stem cell transplant, and more radiation are possibilities if needed, but she did not want to get into any of that yet because it could turn out to be nothing and clear itself up, and if that’s the case then worrying and planning would be for nothing.  So that’s the plan, to wait and see what happens.





06/17/2014: PET Scan Results from 06/11/2014 – Scan #8:

Dr. Safah is still happy with the results in the chest and neck, however the spots in the Abdomen are still there.  Dr. Safah hopes that this is still from the Shingles, however we still cannot be sure.  The only thing we can do is order another scan again in three months to see if the spots are still there.  The spots in the Abdomen have seemed to stay the same if not shrink minorly, but not much, but are about the same, but we still need to watch them.  So I will be back for another scan in 3 months.




03/13/2014: PET Scan Results from 03/12/2014 – Scan #7:

We get to see Dr. Safah and the test results.  She is happy with what the neck shows as it shows nothing at all.  The chest has a few minor spots in it, but since the SUV is below 3 she is not really worried about them at all.  However what does alarm her is that I have new spots showing up on this scan that is in my abdomen.  One has an high uptake of 9.4, the other two are 4.7 and 4.5.  She is not sure what to think of this, this could be bad if it is new disease spots spreading to my Abdomen.  I tell her that I did have the shingles about 3 weeks ago, and that I came in and saw the PA for it, however that information never did get relayed to her.  Dr. Safah said that if she knew about the shingles, she would had put off the scan for another month.  She said it can possibly be the Shingles causing the lymph nodes in the area to increase uptake and size as it fights the Shingles and is draining everything from the Shingles infection, however, she cannot say for sure that it is the Shingles causing it.  We will schedule another PET/CT scan in another 3 months to see if there is any change in the size and uptake of these lymphnodes.  Everyone leaves the room and Dr. Safah wants to look at the area in which my shingles are.  They are well scabbed over at this point and mostly gone away, but you can still see the evidence of where they have been, all over the left but cheek, upper inner leg/groin area.  After seeing how widespread the shingles was, she feels even a little better, but can’t rule anything out, and will just have to wait and see what happens in 3 months. If they are still there, then we are talking about doing a biopsy to find out exactly what it is, but she doesn’t want to get into those details yet because it could hopefully be nothing, but no one knows we will just have to continue to wait and see…


09/20/2013: PET Scan Results from 09/19/2013:

Dr. Safah walks in and starts going over the results from the PET/CT Scan.  Dr. Safah was overall very pleased with the results of the PET/CT scan and is ready to move onto the final stage of her treatment which is the Radiation Therapy.  This scan looked better than any of my other scans.  2 small areas of activity were detected, but they are unsure if this is just normal uptake of glucose, or inflammation from different variables since the amounts were so small or disease left over.  To be safe, these areas are going to be radiated with radiation therapy.  This will include my chest and my neck.  Since I had large masses in my chest, they were planning on hitting these areas anyway with radiation to shrink the size of the scar tissue left from the tumors since the tumor cell structure will not just disappear on their own.  So radiation was already in the plans, just now we are going to use it to also make sure that there is no left over disease along with tissue shrinkage, which they tell me is a common practice.  The radiation treatment would take place 5 days a week, for 4 weeks.  This process can be tiring and cause fatigue.  The radiation treatment could start as early as next or the following week.




05/09/2013:  PET Scan Results from 05/08/2013:

She then starts going through the results.  My neck has completely cleared up, nothing has been found in my neck.  She then sees that the two tumors in my chest have very low activity.  She would like to see no activity, but compared to the PET scan in January, both tumors are in the process of dying and she is ready to move on with the Stem Cell Transplant.  However, she wants to get my eye cleared up first and get my cough and congestion taken care of today too.  I tell her that I have an ENT appointment tomorrow for 9AM, so she is happy to hear that.  Melissa tells me to call her on Tuesday and let her know how I am feeling.  If everything is looking better then that means that I will be looking to start the Stem Cell Transplant next weekend, Saturday, May 18, 2013.  So we shall see.




01/09/2013:  PET Scan Results – Tumors Still Present after 6 Cycles of ABVD.



11/08/2012: PET Scan Results Further Explained:

2:45: The doctor comes in and starts going over the PET Scan results with us. He is not too thrilled because the results are showing a new mass in my neck. Everything else is going down, but if this is a new mass, we are going to have to stop the chemo, do a new biopsy to figure out if its the same cancer or something else. If it is the same cancer, then we will have to change the chemo regimen because that means that the chemo is having no effect on the chemo. We will have to use the MOPP chemo which came before the ABVD and is more powerful, but the only thing is there are drug shortages for those chemo drugs. If it is not the same cancer, we will have to figure out how to treat it. Dr. Page says either way this is not good, and he has not seen this before. Great, just my luck. Dr. Page tells me that he has not met personally with the radiologist yet, but he will be going to meet with him to go over all three PET Scans to see if the mass was on either of the other PET Scans. He tells me that he will call us as soon as he finds out something, as I have another doctor’s appointment for 3:30.

3:32: My mom gets a call on her cellphone, it’s Dr. Page, he briefly talks to her, and then talk’s to me. The good news is that he found the mass on the original PET Scan, but it really didn’t show up as much on the second PET Scan, why, he is not sure, there are many factor’s with the timing of the second PET Scan being the day after a chemo infusion, which is not a good thing, and also my sugars were about 180 going into that PET Scan which is not a good thing either. However, it is good that he found it, and he said for me to continue my Chemo treatment scheduled for Monday. I get off the phone with him as Dr. Jacob is waiting to see me.



11/07/2012: PET Scan Results




10/18/2012: Oncologist Appointment – Petscan Explained More

3:25: The doctor comes in and he checks on me.  We go through everything, he feels where the lumps were and don’t feel anything which is good, although he can’t feel the masses in my chest.  He then sits down and we go over the results of the Pet Scan.  Here is where the results of the Pet Scan really play a roll.  He is very pleased seeing the pet scans in the 2’s down from 10’s-14’s.  He said that the tumors and cancer cells are responding well to the chemo treatment and shrinking and decreasing activity.  My next chemo treatment is not this upcoming Monday, but the following Monday, that will be infusion 8, and the end of cycle 4.  The following next Wednesday, 9 days after the last infusion, will be my 3rd Pet Scan.  If the activity numbers come back less than 2, then we will stop the Chemo treatments and start up the Radiation Therapy for one month, which is 4 weeks, 5 days a week.  If the numbers are in the 2’s or risen at all, then we will complete the 6 cycles of chemo before starting the radiation, but with the way everything is looking now, chemo should be over after cycle 4.

09/18/2012 – Petscan 2 Results:

In simpler terms what does all of this mean?  It means that I will have another Pet Scan after my 4th cycle/8th infusion.  The changes between my 1st Petscan, before my first chemo treatment, and my 2nd Petscan, after my 2nd cycle/4th infusion/treatment, were mostly down in the numbers, as you can see below in the report, which is good, from the ranges of 10 – 14 to in the 2’s.  They want to see the numbers at zero with no radioactive glucose update.  So if the numbers on the next PetScan come back as 0’s then we’ll move onto radiation and stop chemo, if not, we’ll finish up the 6 cycles/12 infusions of chemo and then go to radiation after that no matter what because they do not want to give more than 6 cycles of chemo because of the toxicity of the chemicals to my body and especially my heart.  So whats my treatment timeline that I have left?  I have either another month/1 cycle/2 infusions of therapy left from here and then 1 month of radiation therapy 5 days a week for 4 weeks, or i have 3 months/3 cycles/6 infusions of chemo therapy and then 1 month of radiation therapy 5 days a week for 4 weeks.

07/25/2012: STAGING: STAGE II Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Disease.

07/25/2012: Preliminary results of the Left Bone Marrow Biopsy Comes Back Negative.  I will have to wait up till two weeks for complete confirmation.

07/11/2012: Preliminary results of the Right Bone Marrow Biopsy Comes Back Negative.  I will have to wait up till two weeks for complete confirmation.

07/09/212: Pet Scan 1 Results:



07/03/2012 7:15 PM

THE WORD IS IN!  The doctor called saying that he had good/bad news.  The doctor calling is my Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor, Dr. Jacob’s.  He said that the bad news is that I have Lymphoma.  The good news is that I have Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lyphoma, and it is one of the most common and treatable Lyphoma’s.  He said that he was sorry to say that I have Lymphoma, but there was a positive side to the type it was.  He told me that when he started practicing medicine in 1974, this was a death sentence.  However, now in 2012, it is one of the most treatable cancer’s and technology and medicine has come a long way.  He asked if I had my appointment with Dr. Brinz, but I told him that that appointment was set for this upcoming Friday, with a possible PET scan set for Monday if there were no cancellations on Thursday or Friday.  He told me that no matter what oncologist I picked, I should be fine with this form of Lymphoma.  Just make sure I am comfortable with whoever I go with as they will be one who I will be in much contact with over the next several months to treat and fight this cancer.  He said that he would be there for me through the whole thing unless I wanted to release him and move on to someone else.  I told him that I had been with him since I was a baby, being that he took out my tonsils when I was 6 years old, and seeing me as a patient long before then.  I told him I have been with him since he could throw me on the operating table himself.  I also told him that I knew that he couldn’t throw me on the operating table or take me off the operating table this time around because I am probably 200 pounds heavier now than I was then.  He said that was right, he has known me since I was very little, and another reason why he is glad that he can tell me the bad but good news seeing that it could be much worse.  He said that his wife said that I must telephone my mother and tell her the results, as they all know my mother is worried sick about me, and to be sure to tell my wife as well.  Well since I am home with my parent’s and my mother was the one who originally answered the house phone, my mother already knew that he called and was overhearing the conversation as it went on.  My wife on the other hand was at a coffee shop, and I google talked her the bad but good news.








© Craig