Everything has a beginning.
Before the beginning came the antecedent conditions.
Creation of cancer requires some conditions to arise in the body first.
While some cancers show a clear connection to genetics, Lymphoma shows little.*
Lymphoma does shows correlations with environmental toxins, such as glyphosate herbicide.
But really, whatever the trigger, it has to involve the new cancer cells evading the immune system.
So something is askew with the immune system.
How does that happen?
Apparently, prolonged acute stress 18 – 24 months prior to diagnosis is a common immunosuppressive event, according to the psycho-oncology site.
So was there an event in that time or close to it involving prolonged stress ?
An odd concatenation of events that peaked at my place of employment from March through May of 2018, consisting of radical changes to my work duties at a time I was not prepared to deal with them. In summary:
- A more experienced colleague left suddenly, and I was assigned part of his work load without feeling that I had adequate training or experience. The work was very mathematical, technical and challenging, some of the most advanced work in our field. I felt out of depth.
- We had just gone paperless. A familiar workflow suddenly became highly disorienting with no paper file / fixed point to refer, I felt lost. It required a great deal of concentration to keep track of where I was in the on screen process, an exhausting development that left little energy for anything else. This did not improve.
- On or about this time I developed adult onset dyscalculia**, a little understood condition where ( in this case ) numbers started to appear as each other, transpose and change autonomously. 5s became 3s, 3s became 8s, 4s became 9s. I had to check everything I saw and everything I added three times – twice was not enough. This bizarre and time consuming affliction gave rise to much continuous anxiety, fear of being labeled, and a deep concern whether I could still function competently at all at work.
- By May, I left the position with a heavy sense of failure.
The above took place 11 – 13 months prior to initial diagnosis.
Am pretty sure that that two month period from March to May of 2018 was the immuno-suppressor that allowed cancer to get loose in the body.
There is nothing else on the past horizon that fits the bill.
My unskillful responses to these continuing environmental stressors led directly to the development of cancer.
Failing to ask for help, ( an error I would repeat the next year in the cancer journey) not trusting others to understand or believe my problem, and reacting from fear rather than responding from wisdom.
An expensive lesson !
Maybe this one has finally been learned for good.
*Unless you are a golden retriever, which have a genetic predisposition to NHL.
** Not unheard of in children, or in early stages of dementia. Also may be caused by a head injury or brain tumor. None of these fits this instance.
The lymphatic diagram is from here.
Numbers are from here.