Here's a chemo recap for those of you keeping track of numbers: Matt was originally scheduled for 12 treatments (6 rounds) of ABVD. In between his third and fourth treatment, he had his PET scan which showed no evidence of disease and he was officially in remission. As a result, his local oncologist agreed to shorten his chemo course to 10 treatments.
Setting aside the fact that the experience of having chemo is miserable, it also does permanent damage to your heart and lungs (and hearts have proven themselves to check out early in our family). Because people actually survive Hodgkin's Disease, there are many more considerations of quality of life longterm that are starting to be taken into account. Matt and Mom did quite a bit of looking around and talking to people from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well as his original oncologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa to see what the most current research protocols advise in this situation. Current research states that complete remission plus two rounds achieves the goal of ridding the cancer cells from the body while minimizing the longterm effects of the ABVD concoction.
Yes, he still looks like a cancer patient because of the dearth of hair. But he feels...fantastic. One of the common longterm effects of treatment is fatigue, but Matt feels energetic (although I think some of that may have to do with the fact that the typical oppressive Florida heat has given way to pleasant, cooler tempteratures these last couple of weeks).
Cancer, don't even try to make your way back into our family again. In fact, you can stay the hell away from my friends and their children as well. There's too many good things to focus on in this life, and I don't have the desire to give you one second of my time from here on out. Good riddance.