I noticed severe swelling of the left side of my neck in August of 2016, watched it and consulted my Dr for a couple of months. It only got larger, I became very tired and feeling like I was always fighting off the flu…all within 3 months.
My Dr suggested an ultrasound, which led to CT, then biopsy, then surgical biopsy…I was diagnosed with Classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stage I in January 2017. This was all on the heels of recovering from a very rare and almost fatal liver injury from an allergic reaction to a medication in February 2016. Cancer diagnosis was not easy to hear when I was finally starting to heal from the liver scare.
I started front line ABVD chemo therapy and expected to sail through it. Half way through, we found out it wasn’t working, and the cancer was more aggressive and resisting the treatment, not expected. I was referred to the lymphoma specialists at the John Theurer Cancer Center, and they felt immunotherapy would be ideal for me…we proceeded, and unfortunately had no success- the cancer was stronger than ever, resisting treatment again. Due to the unusual resistance to treatment, I began preparing for a Autologous Stem Cell transplant, scheduled for December 2017. The transplant was a success, and I have been in remission since January 2018.
This has been a roller coaster of emotions, physical changes, and general anxiety. I have learned to have faith in my family, friends and Lord in uncertain and scary times; without all of them this would have been a very different experience. I am lucky to have had access to some of the best doctors, nurses and facilities in the country. The hair will grow back, the energy will return and I will start to feel like me again – but I will be a stronger and more grateful version of myself because of what I have been through. Everyday is a blessing, something I will never take for granted again. My husband, Jason, and I recently relocated to Vero Beach, Florida