Michael developed a lump on his right collarbone about 1-2 years ago. I think the position of the lump really threw us all off that it would be anything sinister… Maybe it was an unhealed injury from sport, maybe a calcium deposit… We weren’t quite sure, but cancer definitely didn’t cross our minds. The pain/inflammation would come and go throughout this period and he saw a couple of physios who put the inflammation down to his work-from-home set up (thank you COVID!) causing issues in his posture and impacting nerves leading to where the lump was. 

Things didn’t improve with the physio exercises and the lump continued to grow. When the pain began to impact his sleep, we decided it was time to get a different opinion. Fast track a number of test/scans (Xray, Ultrasound, MRI, CT Scan, PET Scan, Shoulder Biopsy) doctors initially thought he had Ewing’s Sarcoma, a bone cancer which is most common in young people. While the initial biopsy results indicated Sarcoma, further testing revealed that it was in fact a lymphoma, which had formed INSIDE his collarbone. This explains the pain as ultimately the tumor had been eroding his bone. Following on from a Bone Marrow biopsy, the specialist was confident it hadn’t spread anywhere else in the body so he could start treatment. 

Looking back there were definitely some other signs. He was mildly sick in the 1-2 months leading up to diagnosis (nothing more than common cold symptoms but this was not common for Michael). He also had a couple of nights with sweats and some pain in his armpits the last time he drank a substantial amount of alcohol.

Michael’s treatment plan includes 6 rounds of R-CHOP Chemotherapy, each round lasting for 3 weeks (total 18 weeks). We have just started our second round of Chemo. So far he has experienced fatigue, nausea, mouth ulcers and hair loss but all of these side effects have been manageable. The pain has disappeared and the lump/inflammation has significantly reduced which is great.

Fatigue Night Sweats Swollen Lymph Nodes