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  • on October 23, 2006 -
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Hard to fit 19 years of health issues into a single journal entry, but here goes:

1987, went away to college in Pittsburgh, PA and almost immediately became sick. In the summer of 1988 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease for which there is no cure. However, treatment with Prednisone steroids during a flare-up would put the disease into remission for a year or two.

Starting in the late 1990s, symptoms started getting worse and more frequent, and didn’t respond as well to treatment. I was started on long-term immune suppressants called 6-MP. Health continued to decline, and in 2005 I began receiving IV infusions of Remicade, a powerful immune suppresant which has tremendous success at treating Crohn’s. Treatments didn’t help me at all, however, and were stopped at the end of 2005. I also went through a variety of antibiotics, such as Cipro, Levaquin, Doxycycline, Flagyl, and Xifaxan, to try to control the Crohn’s, as well as one of the secondary symptoms of Crohn’s, which is bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

During the fall of 2006, symptoms became so bad that I was in constant pain, and could barely eat because sections of my intestines had become so narrowed due to scarring from repeated cycles of inflammation. I had surgery on October 10, 2006 where 4 1/2 inches of my small intestine was removed where a fistula was discovered, and other sections were cut open and widened in a procedure called strictureplasty.

On October 16, 2006 the pathology results for the removed portion of intestine were complete, and indicated two things: first, the presence of a type of cancer called Hodgkin Lymphoma; and second, no indications of the presence of Crohn’s disease. This diagnosis is very unexpected, so further tests are being conducted to confirm both of these results.


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