A little background on my life and a quick rundown on how I got to where I am with Stage 2 Hodgkins Disease. I’m a 26 year old graduate student entering my second year of law school. I’m a proud New Yorker who hails from the borough of Brooklyn but currently reside in Miami, FL with my amazingly beautiful and strong wife who I married in March 2011. We both attend the same law school and spend pretty much every waking moment within several feet of each other.

Saying this wasn’t a very good summer would probably be an understatement.

On July 20th my grandfather passed away from a 14 year battle with lung cancer. It was difficult enough being 1,200 miles away from home when it happened but he passed 3 days before we had plans to spend the day together. My return to New York was less than happy. About 10 days later I was out to dinner with my family when I stepped outside to keep my wife company as she smoked a cigarette.

She noticed there was a lump on my left collar bone. Me being the type of guy who hardly gets sick or to complain dismissed the lump as nothing. I felt great, what’s a lump going to do. It’ll go away in a few days on its own. By the grace of some higher power my mother brought up some talk about lumps two nights later and my wife spilled the beans on my stubbornness to discuss my lump.

I went to my doctor the next morning and was referred to a CAT scan. What a waste of time and money I thought, there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m 26 years old what could it possibly be?

Next thing I know I have an appointment with an oncologist the next day.Whoa. What just happened? This is ridiculous, this doesn’t happen to young healthy guys.

The next morning, the Oncologist was very direct. He told me that from the CAT scans he believed I had early lymphoma, a type of cancer.

CANCER???????? What the fuck is this guy talking about?! Did he get his medical degree from a crackerjack box? There’s no way.

Having crappy student insurance and a few days out from having to return to Florida to start law school back up my oncologist pulled some strings and I had a biopsy of my lump scheduled. I was admitted into the hospital in record time and went through two days of blood tests, uncertainty, a biopsy and a PET scan.

My biopsy results came back today, August 10, 2011 confirming what the doctors had told me all along, I had Stage 2 Hodgkins disease. They all said to be thankful that if I had a cancer that this was the one I got. Gee thanks doc. I couldn’t be anymore thankful for my cancer.

Now begins my story of getting through this with my wife, family and friends and getting through a semester of law school. I had a hard time finding sites online of people in my situation as a student dealing with this disease. I hope to be able to give a look into the real side of the treatment so that maybe someone else can use my experience to make a difficult decision in their lives.

  1. When my family doc told me I had cancer he went with “Yeah, from all these tests it appears you have Hodgkins lymphoma. Maybe. Wait, maybe not. Umm, I’ll get an oncologist to look at this and give you a call in a half hour, k?”

    I definitely threw out a WTF?! Who tells someone they might, or might not, have cancer? Is that not something you want to be a little bit more definite on before spilling the beans about?

    I wondered if he received his medical degree in a crackjack box…

    On that note, the blog is lovely! Seriously though, how fucked is it to get cancer in your twenties, when you’ve had no medical conditions or ANY symptoms… other than that ridiculous lump on your collarbone… that’s how mine appeared too. I decided to leave it for two months because it was definitely just a bug bite. Or not.

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