To be continued.
Sep 26, 2013
I don't have the emotional energy right now to write out the third part of my story. This is a very difficult time of year for me, because for the last two years it has been when I have been diagnosed. I will continue my story on my blog: http://www.fancyco.blogspot.com
Can't wait to see everyone tomorrow and thank you so much for all of the donations!
If you are interested in joining the bone marrow donation registry, please sign up here: http://bethematch.org/Home.aspx
It is a simple cheek swab to be added to the registry, and you have the opportunity to save a life. <3
My Story (part 2)
Aug 26, 2013
After I finished treatments, I focused on cleaning up my diet and exercising more. I wanted to do everything in my power to stay in remission. My oncologist was so pleased with my results, that he was encouraging me to move on and start a family. Something inside of me knew that it wasn't the right timing. My body needed to heal, and every other report said to wait 2 years.
I had a scan in early May 2012. After drinking 64 ounces of oral contrast and being injected with iodine (which makes you feel like you're peeing your pants..) it was all clear! I was so confident that my battle was over, that I was ready to sell my wig and all of it's very expensive accessories. I even got the go ahead to get my wisdom teeth cut out. Dental work is typically forbidden during and shortly after chemo because of the risk for infection. So I spent my 27th birthday with major chipmunk cheeks and a hematoma from the lidocaine injections, awkwardly stuffing pad thai into my mouth. I even had HAIR!
I thrust myself back into my old life as much as possible; rejoining social activities and covering a maternity leave at work. I didn't have a single doctor appointment that June.
I was feeling fatigued, but pushed forward not wanting to miss any opportunity that got me out of the house. I also had a few low grade fevers, so when I went to get my port flushed in July, I requested a blood draw for labwork. My oncologist and nurses joked around calling me "Doctor Sarah", but they obliged and my bloodwork was just fine.
August was another doctor free month. I was still having intermittent low grade fevers, so by the first weekend in September, my husband made a worried phone call to my oncologist. My nurse called me back, asking questions and trying to determine what might be the cause. She asked if I had any swelling, thinking that there might be a clot in my port line. I stood in front of a mirror, phone in one hand, and tilted my head back. As I did, a small lymph node became visible on the left side of my neck. My right hand clutched at my throat, trying to palpate every structure. The lump was hard, just like before, only in a new spot.
The nurse made a call to my oncologist, who was vacationing for the holiday. She called me back to let me know that there was "no way" it could be cancer, my main tumor had been inbetween my lungs! So I started antibiotics, only told my mom and husband, and went away for the weekend.
My Story (part 1)
Aug 03, 2013
As most of you know, I have been battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma for over 2 years now. I was first diagnosed July 27, 2011 after suffering through the many "B symptoms" for almost a year. After several rounds of antibiotics, the fever and cough remained, joined by chest pain, night sweats, severe itching, and finally the noticable growth of the lymph nodes in my neck. By the time my diagnosis was confirmed, I was on a strictly liquid diet and had difficulty breathing due to the bulky and fast-growing nature of my tumors. I started chemotherapy that August, after what I call "Hell Week". Each day was spent being poked and prodded, surgery to place my port, and bone marrow removed from my hip.
I was admitted to the hospital for my first round of chemotherapy drugs because they were afraid my kidneys would shut down due to the extremely large mass in my chest. I went through 12 of these treatments over a period of 6 months, my symptoms getting worse each time with less and less cancer cells to absorb the toxins. Which was great! My body was responding well to treatment and my PET scans were clear. I still had a 5cm mass in my chest of "residual" tissue. Mostly scarring from the lymph node being overstretched for so long. That lead to a 2 hour long consulation with a radiation oncologist to discuss further treatment to prevent cancer from returning. Unfortunately, radiation can cause secondary cancers and damage to the surrounding tissue. After weighing the risks, we decided to only radiate the residual mass in my chest.
I went every day for 15 treatments. Radiation was much easier for me than chemotherapy. It would zap my energy for the day, and left me with a slight burn in the treated area, but there was no nausea, or body aches, hair loss or weak immune system.
It was March of 2012 by the time I was finally done with treatments. I had to get my port flushed every 6 weeks to prevent blood clots from forming, but other than that I tried to jump back into a "normal" life as much as possible. And for anyone who has had cancer, you know that is easier said than done.
My Fundraising Page
Aug 03, 2013
Welcome to my Light The Night Walk Fundraising Page
We are living in an extraordinary moment. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is on the brink of incredible breakthroughs that have already begun to change the lives of thousands of patients; treatments that can manage a person's condition with a daily pill, therapies that seek out cancer cells and kill them, and the use of a patient's own immune system to eradicate cancer not someday, but today.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk funds those treatments.
Please make a donation and check my Web site frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your support!