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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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some early reflections

To be honest, some days are better than others. I still have no pain or discomfort, but I do feel kind of lethargic and some days I get a little bit depressed. Nothing severe, just naturally downed feelings arising from the knowledge that I have a serious illness.

Owing to the rarity and aggressiveness of my suspected subtype, I've also become a bit more sober about the seriousness of this. It is possible, though hopefully unlikely, that I could die from this. The specialist did admit, when probed, that if the lymphoma doesn't respond to the treatments, it is possible to die from it.

This is obviously the case with all cancer, but since there is so relatively little data on my subtype, it's impossible to predict how many people will and won't have a positive outcome. My approach remains unchanged, though: I'm proceeding as though I'll be one of the lucky ones who will respond to the treatments.

B also found some indications as to the prevalence of this subtype. This subtype accounts for roughly 15% of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, and mine is the fourth most common out of five total categories within this subtype. I don't know how many people have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma though, so I can't estimate how many people in total have this specific subtype.

I also tried to find out exactly how it is that people die from lymphoma, but the doctor and my wife kind of refrained from answering. They told me I was putting the cart before the horse, but I genuinely wanted to know. I'll probe harder for an answer at some later point if it becomes more relevant.

Heh -- it's obvious that the researcher in me will never die. I'm genuinely interested in these kinds of details, even at this strange and stressful time.

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nobody_ July 26th, 2004
I just now found out about your diagnosis... I hardly even know you, and feel shaken - I can only imagine what all you and those closest to you are thinking and feeling. You're in my thoughts. I believe your positive attitude and inner strength will serve you well, and I think you have the best possible reaction to this that you could - no wallowing in worst-case scenarios, but simply taking things as they come. Should I ever be in a similar situation, I would hope to have that ability to remain present.

omahhum July 26th, 2004
If it's any consolation, my father has non-hodgkins lymphoma and has not had any problems in over 25 years. He's 76. If you want to be more like him, be miserable, cheat on your wife and your taxes and eat hot dogs just about every day. (I don't suggest the way he lives btw;).

Try to look at this as a way to embrace this precious human life. Our bodies are so very fragile... all of us. There are plenty of things you can do. You are cared for and your life is meaningful.

umbada July 28th, 2004
Hot dogs are definitely on the agenda. There's a place here in Halifax, Nova Scotia that sells Nathans hot dogs, and they're goooood. I'll try to con Iamom to go for a couple.

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