I was diagnosed on August 12, 2019…a few days after celebrating my 50th birthday. I first noticed a lump above my left collarbone in the fall of 2018, and in the spring of 2019, another lump under my left arm. Neither were painful, but both were suspicious. So I went to my PCP, who ordered an ultrasound and biopsies. The end result? Stage III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
This specific blood cancer attacks your white blood cells, which then attacks the lymph nodes all over your body. (The lymph nodes are part of the immune system.) In my case, this has affected the lymph nodes in my neck, under the left arm, between my lungs, a small area in the spleen and the space just below the diaphragm.
While I have a stage III cancer, it is treatable. I started ABVD chemotherapy in September 2019, and have months of chemo and doctor’s visits to go. Going for treatment every two weeks is an effort, yet I do it.
I had two CT/PET scans, with the most recent on November 14, 2019. The scans show that the cancer has been reduced, yet I am not in the clear yet.
How am I feeling?
*I am dealing with chemo-induced early menopause, which sometimes makes me real moody and dealing with hot flashes…such joy.
*I am always fatigued, and I deal with joint pain, mostly in my knees.
*My white blood cells that fight infection are sometimes low, so I don’t hang out in crowds or stay around sick people.
*No nausea, because my anti-nausea meds work!
*My spirits are usually good, as is my appetite most times. The first week after chemo, food just tastes meh, but I eat.
*Change is my new normal, yet God is in control!
I do have health insurance, which costs me over $400 per month…not at all cheap. I do have financial assistance from the hospital that I’m treating at, yet that does nothing for my other medical or living expenses. We’re talking a $1,300 mortgage, oil for heating my home, utilities…the list goes on.
I am the sole breadwinner in my home, and my mother lives with me, whom I support, so my funds are starting to feel the strain.
Any donations you give will help cover medical and living expenses during this time.
I thank everyone in advance for your love and support because it means more than you know!