Lymphoma Survivor Stories

561

“Find the good in everything” says Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor

hodgkin lymphoma survivor

Favorite Quote

“Live the life you’ve imagined.”

Mckenzi Fish was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in October 2010

The Diagnosis

“In October of 2010 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I was 15 years old.”

The Journey

hodgkin lymphoma survivor's journey “My fight was 4 months long. It wasn’t fast and easy like some people think. So much changed in 4 months and it was hard because I was in the middle of high school. I only had to have chemotherapy which was a huge blessing. My family and friends were a huge support system and I will always be thankful for it! During my treatment I brainstormed how I could help others with their fight. I have a nonprofit called Forever Fighters, that delivers personalized care packages to children and teen cancer patients. The hardest part of treatment for me however was after my treatment. I had a hard time dealing with my new normal and going back to the real world when I had changed so much in 4 months. I wanted to be the person I was before but cancer made me into a new person, and eventually I realized that this new person was better than who I was before.”

Biggest Hindrance

“I was a dancer and had been since I was 3 years old. It broke my heart that my dance abilities may change during my treatment. But I never expected that I would have to stop after I was done with treatment. The chemo and prednisone ate away part of my bone marrow in my hip and it’s painful for me to do intense nonevent. I danced all during treatment and for a few years after it but eventually I would need a hip replacement so I had to stop.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“The thought that If I get through this, I will live out my dreams. I had to be happy and positive in order to do fight this and win. I had too many dreams and goals to not achieve them.”

Message to other fighters

message for cancer patients “Try to stay as positive as possible during treatment! Find the good in everything and find fun in the worst situations. We all have bad days and that’s fine! Just don’t let it affect your entire life in a negative way.”

Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Fighter Runs A Blog of Her Journey

hodgkin lymphoma fighter

Favorite Quote

“So, wear your strongest posture now, and see your hardest times as more than just the times you fell but a range of mountains you learned to climb.” – Morgan Harper Nichols

Katrina Vockler was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 21. She is still fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and shares her in story in an online journal.

The Diagnosis

“I got diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2016 at the age of 21. After over a year of getting scans and tests done because I had an excruciating lower back pain along with severe itchy skin, I finally got some answers…. Cancer.”

The Journey

hodgkin lymhoma fighter's journey “My journey has been a long and very tough journey. I’ve had many downs and many ups. I’ve certainly had my fair share of setbacks. At the beginning in April 2016 I started with chemotherapy. I did 2 cycles. I decided that I wanted to completely stop and try to heal myself naturally with alternate therapies, diet and nutrition and mind, body, spirit techniques. During this time, I learnt, I grew and I changed into a more healthy, purposeful human. I did many, many things. I went plant based, organic. I did juice, supplements, vitamin c infusions just to name a few. I got told that I was going to die in 2016 and that I wouldn’t live to see Christmas. I did this for about a year and a half. Unfortunately, it didn’t get me to that finish line I would have hoped for (remission) and I had to go back onto western medicine at the start of 2018. I have 0 regrets of my choices as they shaped and formed me into the person I am today. I still have all my beliefs around health, and still live the same lifestyle as I was. Before treatment I had to get a metal, rod put down my thigh as a tumor had eroded a chunk out of my left hip bone. It was close to fracturing so the docs didn’t want this to happen during treatment because what a disaster that would have been! I was on an intense chemotherapy 2 weeks after my leg operation (which by the way, caused me the most intense pain I’ve ever felt!) The chemo I was on was called ICE. It was brutal. I lost all my hair, I was extremely sick, pale, and lost all of my energy and strength. I didn’t recognize myself. I went into remission within 4 cycles, for a month before I relapsed. They proceeded to put me onto an immunotherapy called Brentuximab. I did this for 6 cycles. At the beginning the cancer was reducing. Only to find out after the whole course it had spread again. I had my first and biggest break down I’ve ever had. I was extremely frightened and I didn’t feel safe anymore. I honestly thought there was a possibility I could die. And I am so far from ready to leave this earth! So, the next plan was to try another immunotherapy called Pembrolizumab and to my relief, I found out the cancer is reducing. It was a magical start to 2019 and I’ve felt so incredibly happy since. I’m currently still undergoing this treatment and will do so for 2 years. Bring on 2020!! This journey has been the BIGGEST mental battle ever. But at the same time, it’s been my biggest blessing in life. There are good things to come in the future, I can feel it. And I am so excited!!”

Biggest Hindrance

“Definitely all of my setbacks. I’ve had multiple let downs being told ‘the cancer is growing, the cancer has spread, the cancer is reducing only to find out it’s spread again’ they are the biggest kick in the guts.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My biggest motivation is that I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that there is an amazing life waiting ahead for me to live it. I want to be able to help and inspire people out there all around the globe. With health and nutrition and mental health. I want people to know that life doesn’t have to be crap. And that it can be changed with a simple choice. On top of that, my friends and family, who keep me going, who lift me up when I’m feeling down.”

Message to other Fighters

message for cancer patients “I know how tough, and scary this battle is. It’s unfair and heartbreaking. But please don’t let it ruin you or break you down. Allow yourself those bad days, allow yourself to sit in your hurt and fear. Cry, get angry but learn to let that go afterwards and find your everyday happiness. Find what it is that makes your soul happy because that is what’s going to keep you going. Whether that’s a book, getting in nature, a sunrise, your kids, your dog, family or friends. Keep that thing close to your heart and never lose sight of the future ahead. You are brave, strong, courageous and beautiful!!”

Fall In Love With Your Life Says Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Fighter

Hodgkin's Lymphoma Fighter
“Love yourself, you are your longest commitment.”
Mia Sophia was diagnosed with Lymphoma on July 27th, 2018. She is fighting her disease.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on July 27th, 2018. I woke up with a lump on my neck and felt very sick. I ended up being admitted into to ER where tests were done and I was finally diagnosed with cancer.”
 
The Journey
 
“My journey of cancer has really shown me to appreciate all the small things in life. To love myself more than ever and to learn to be strong. It’s a journey to help me realize that being in the moment is so important. It’s teaching me how to be vulnerable and how to pick myself back up. This is a journey that no one can take from me and it’s helped me realize that happiness comes from within. I’m a fighter and I am strong.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My biggest motivation in my fight against cancer is knowing I can overcome this. This is a huge life lesson for me and it will only make me a better, stronger person in the end.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“My biggest hindrances in my journey is not being able to live my life like I used to. I can no longer be careless with my body and activities. It’s helping me be in the moment and listening to my body most. It made me put myself first, which is not a bad thing.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients

“My message to other cancer patients would be to love yourself. Fall in love with your own life and everything else will come together. Know your worth and realize that life is too short to sweat the small stuff. Appreciate everything you have and be grateful for it all. You’re a warrior.”

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now an Art Student

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Survivor Now an Art Student
“Don’t dream it, be IT” -Alyssa Edwards “Breath. It’s only a bad day, not a bad life” -Johnny Depp
Jailyne was diagnosed with Lymphoma on April 20th, 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is an Art Major at the University of Houston.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I started treatment at Texas Oncology in Weslaco, Texas when I was 18 years old. After being admitted to the hospital for Pneumonia, a CT scan showed a mass in between my lungs. I had a biopsy done a couple of days later, and was diagnosed on April 20, 2016, with stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma”
 
The Journey
 
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
“The original plan was 8 chemo rounds and possibly radiation. However, my body weakened and I stopped responding to this treatment. I started with even more aggressive and toxic chemo, after my counts couldn’t recover anymore I moved to Houston to get a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately with the move and waiting for admission at TCH, I had already relapsed and my tumor grew bigger, almost twice the size if not more. I went through about 4 more chemo rounds, 3 radiation rounds and my body couldn’t recover for my 5th chemo. My counts weren’t high enough so my chemo got postponed week after week. During this time I relapsed again, so I was put for an emergency bone marrow transplant. I had so many complications during my BMT such as fungal pneumonia, and infections. I’m almost a year out of transplant and I’m still treating fungal pneumonia.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My biggest motivation was the people whom I loved the most, my sister and brother, my nieces and nephews, my friends, my teachers, my trumpet section and high school band family, but especially for my mother. She never gave up and stood by my side through the very end. I wanted to live for them, but most importantly for me. I had my whole life ahead of me and I needed to accomplish the goals I had set for myself. One of them being part of Drum Corp International, Carolina Crown. I did audition while on treatment and got several callbacks for this Corp, but I had no option but to cancel when I relapsed.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The biggest hindrances of my journey was definitely having so many complications and relapses. Quitting college was especially hard for me since I was going to major in music as a trumpet player. All the treatment I’ve had so far has made me physically unable to pursue the thing that I loved the most, music. Losing friends and a significant other was also very hard since they were the ones who were “supposed to be there for me” in such a difficult time of my life, not abandon me when I needed them the most.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“My message to other cancer patients is to TRUST THE PROCESS. There’s hope, there’s always hope. Fight through for yourself and for the millions of people who have lost their own battle. Keep fighting and never give up. You own your body, not cancer.”

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Runs A Website

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Runs A Website
“Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe..”
Lisa Ward was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She has successfully defeated her disease. She now runs a website by the name “World is my cure”.
 
The Diagnosis
 
She was diagnosed with Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009.
 
The Journey
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
“ My name is Lisa and yes, I survived cancer. When I was twenty years old I was just ending my second year of community college. I was in love and kicking ass in academics by getting a full ride to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill set up for the Fall of 2009. In April of that year, I found a large bump on my left collarbone about the size of a grape. I went to my pediatrician who assured me this was not cancer and most likely a swollen lymph node. After taking antibiotics with no success of my new grape like bump disappearing, I was sent to a different doctor. Now at the time, I did not know what oncology was. I do not think I fully comprehended where I was being sent to that day. As I walked out of the elevator I saw a sign that read “Pediatric Child Cancer” with an arrow to the room I was expected to enter. Things happened pretty fast after that. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage 2A. In other words, this means my cancer had spread to two places and I had no symptoms. At twenty I went into survival mode for the summer of 2009. My mother moved back to New York from Atlanta to take care of me and my boyfriend at the time would stay over a lot while his mother stepped up as my home care nurse. I had a few more classes to finish at my local college before I could move on to UNC in the fall. School made me feel normal so I continued with my education no matter how sick or tired I became. At this time I was undergoing chemotherapy and had a port in my arm with bandages around them. I became nauseous easily and was injected with a chemical they referred to as “red ruby” that would burn your skin if it slipped out of the needle. I was on steroids that made me gain 15-20 pounds pretty quickly. The shots I received were a slow dull pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The day my hair fell out I bought a razor and fake brown wig from the local market in town. I even bargained the salesman down in price! As I shaved my head, a calm washed over me and an overwhelming amount of wisdom and strength appeared itself to me that I did not know existed before that moment. I sang I am every woman by Whitney Houston as I did it. Yeah…I probably looked like a lunatic to an outsider but to me I felt in control. I knew then that I would be ok. No matter what, I was going to be ok. I finished chemotherapy and two weeks later went to Chapel Hill to start my undergraduate career studying psychology. Numerous times in the week I would board a bus to Duke Hospital at 7 AM to receive my radiation treatments. I was exhausted but it was more manageable than the chemotherapy. I made it to every class I had scheduled that Fall semester. I went into remission a few weeks before my 21st birthday. This is where the real fun started. I did not know who I was anymore. I was “healed” on the inside but what about mentally? I questioned everything and I did not recognize myself. I felt like I was playing pretend everyday when I would step out of the shower and put my wig and sports cap over my bald head. I isolated myself from making new friends for a long time because I did not want to be known as the sick girl. Shout out to the person who saw the real me even beyond the pain I was going through at the time. You absolutely know who you are. I began to have nightmares and would overeat angry at my body for the trauma it just suffered. I even started smoking cigarettes again just because. (It is a common act to treat yourself roughly even after a cancer diagnosis because of the anger felt toward your physical being). I was up and down with my emotions which eventually led to the end of my relationship at the time as well. I would lash out at him as if his very being reminded me of cancer. I told a therapist I was suicidal. As time went on I began to heal. I took charge of my experience and spent three years at The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society counselling others about young adult cancer. I spoke at local schools and as a patient hero was on posters throughout Long Island. Even though this was such a positive experience for me, I still felt shame for having cancer. I believed I had bad DNA and no one would love or accept me. I decided to create a cancerversary. Even though I technically went into remission in the month of October, I changed it to June 25th. The reason I did this was to celebrate the strength I found the day I shaved my head. This day symbolized something to celebrate. Every year I do something I have never done before. One year I went to a strip club, another Israel, had a French dinner blindfolded in the dark in NYC and this year had a party with all of my loved ones. Today I try and live without fear. I have travelled and pushed for every opportunity I have wanted. Living without fear landed me an internship with MTV. It brought me to many parts of the world. This longing has brought me here today talking to all of you. I have created a healing project (www.worldismycure.com) where young adults from around the world can tell their warrior stories of surviving cancer. Telling my story, putting words to paper has brought me clarity.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My biggest motivation is being able to reach out to other young adult cancer survivors and help them move forward from the process of patient to survivor. It can be a very confusing time and I would like to help guide others through this process. (i.e writing, travel, meditation, yoga).”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“My biggest hindrances while fighting cancer was maintaining my grades in school and finishing treatment.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients

“Take it day by day. Love yourself first no matter what”

Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Shares Her Motivational Journey

Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor
“The first step to happiness is accepting who you are and where you are- the rest will follow after that”
Daynah was diagnosed with Lymphoma when she was just 21 years old. We are very happy to let you know that she has won her battle and dragged cancer out of her life.
Journey
Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
“I was diagnosed with stage 4B Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which presented as a tumor in my head, 12.5 cm tumor in my chest, and my jaw had lit up. I did 6 rounds of DA EPOCH-R, which failed. I became refractory and we tried GDP-R chemo, to which I was still not in remission. We then did a stem cell transplant with BEAM chemo and a month of radiation. I was announced cancer free on May 21st, 2015.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I struggle with this because a big part of me didn’t have a choice. It’s hard to be on the other side of cancer and watching it affect the people that loved me. I think that I never really saw ‘not trying’ as an option. One way, I had 0% chance of living- and the other I had a 25% chance. I hadn’t gone that far to just simply go that far.”
 
The biggest hindrance
 
“Keyword in this question is “biggest,” because cancer itself tends to be a massive life hindrance. I’d have to say acceptance- mostly of what was happening. It’s all fine to go with the motion when you take a moment to stop and think it changes you. Accepting death and being okay with that was crazy difficult and accepting life after was shockingly just as difficult. Acceptance of your new appearance, acceptance or your limitations…. it was a huge adjustment and I’d have to say my biggest obstacle. This affected relationships and many other aspects of my journey.”
 
Message to other fighters
 
Message for cancer patients
“Just do it. Just close your fists when you’re scared and do it. It’s not going to change what’s happening and it’s not going to make it less terrifying, but even a moment of fake extreme bravery can make the world of a difference. It’s doable and it’s scary and it’s life changing but it’s a change that will make you an even stronger person than you could’ve known. It’s okay to be sad and scared, it happens, but always be kind when you don’t feel like it and always be brave when you don’t feel like it.”

Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now Certified Personal Fitness Trainer And Motivational Speaker

Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
Mike Maldonado, was diagnosed with Lymphoma in December of 2009. He has successfully defeated his disease. He is now a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and a Fitness Motivational Speaker.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed in December of 2009. After dealing with an unrelenting cough and significant weight loss, doctors noticed multiple lumps in my chest and neck area. I quickly underwent X-rays and a neck biopsy which lead to the diagnoses of cancer.”
 
The Journey
 
Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
13, I fell into a diabetic coma. Doctors urged me to become more physically active so at the age of 16 I began lifting weights. By the age of 18, the tables turned and I found out that I had Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer spread from the neck, chest, right lung, stomach and had already attacked the bone marrow in my hip. Doctors predicted that with intensive chemotherapy I may be able to prolong my life for 2 years. After 6 months of chemotherapy treatments, the tumors continued to grow. Facing the possibility of death I felt like I was walking in total darkness. Somewhere along the road, I managed to find a spark, a spark that led me back to fitness. After the chemotherapy failed to work, doctors proceeded to try a Stem Cell Transplant. Doctors harvested the cells out of my body in hopes of retrieving 20% of the cells cancer free. After the harvest was completed doctors were amazed to see that 110% of my cells came back cancer free. The following week I underwent a series of intensive chemo treatments for 7 days. On the 7th day, we infused the cancer-free cells back into my body hoping to kickstart my entire immune system. Doctors predicted it would take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to fully recover, my body began to reproduce cancer-free cells 8 days later. The following 3 months consisted of daily radiation treatments to minimize the chances of having the cancer return. After a total of two years undergoing intensive treatments and operations, I managed to overcome the disease.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“This victory wouldn’t have been possible without all the support and endless motivation by my friends and loved ones.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“I feel the toughest challenge throughout this whole ordeal was battling the doubt of survival and fear of giving up. Being a type 1 diabetic surfaced many obstacles and complicated much of the treatments and recovery.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“The best message I can give to those that are also struggling is to have a healthy mindset. Your mind can overcome any obstacle and your body can overcome anything you set your mind to.”

Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now An Actor

David Cruz was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 2007. He has successfully defeated his disease. He is a proud father, an actor, artist and happily married.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
The Diagnosis
 
“January 2007 I fell down the stairs and began losing the feeling in a foot, lutes and left forearm. After an MRI, and Biopsy of a lymph node, they explained to me that I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had several tumors in my spine that were blocking receptors.”
 
The Journey
 
Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now An Actor
“Waking up every day losing the feeling in my right leg and left hand. Constantly falling and losing my balance. The pain in my back was like the nerve pain from a toothache but much more intense and spread throughout my hip, back and neck. I underwent 10 radiation treatments. They drilled a quarter sized hole in my head and place a port for a specific kind of chemotherapy. They also gave me 6 different chemotherapy cocktail intravenously. That went on for a year. In January of 2008, they gave me a stem cell transplant. I’ve been cancer free ever since.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My body was so broken down, suffering from muscle atrophy and depression was eating away my spirit. God really entered my life. Every positive word, psalm or good advice, that was said or read to me, began to flash through my mind. Every kungfu, karate or jujitsu program I ever saw began to inspire me. I felt limitless, even at this point, where I was partially paralyzed. I started to work out as much as I could. I caught pneumonia, due to my weakness but as soon as they let me out the hospital 13 days later, I began to fight again.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Sadly, it was money. I couldn’t work and the worker’s compensation was 40 dollars a week. I realized disability wouldn’t give me any money. I received 100 dollars in food stamps. Rent was piling up and so were medical bills.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“Positive energy activates constant elevation. Stay focused on positive thoughts and actions”

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Runs An Amazing Blog And Is Helping Others

 
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Runs An Amazing Blog
“I’m heaven there won’t be any pain, confusion or loss. We will see clearly. So I embrace my moment of pain now and give Him praise in the midst of it. Because that’s an offering I’ll never have a chance to give Him in heaven. Every moment is an opportunity to give god something in worship.”
Abby Shoenfelt, was diagnosed with Lymphoma in February 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a Doctor, the author of TheMommyMD.com, and Instagram @themommymd, a Christ loving wife. Her passion is to help others live their best life.
 
The Diagnosis
 
She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February 2017.
 
The Journey
 
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
“I’m a doctor, wife, mother of at that time a 1-year-old baby, in my first year of residency working 90H a week – found a giant hard lump on the lower right side of my neck and for a CT which showed a large mass there and in my chest. Did 6 months of chemo while still working and was cured only to have a relapse 2 months after finishing chemo where I was sent to MD Anderson and several pathologists couldn’t figure out why my cancer was back as but finally, they all concluded that I was cancer free and didn’t need any more chemo.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“Why give up? Why stay upset, why be anything but happy. Otherwise, you’re miserable and so is everyone else “
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Nausea, people thinking I wasn’t going through hell just because I had a smile on the outside and kept working through it all.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“God no matter what is still GOOD. We are all mortal, and having the blessing to have the time to encounter your own mortality is a gift not everyone gets. Enjoy your life, your family, tell them you love them, buy the shoes, sing out loud. Cancer sucks but there must be good to come from it. Tell your story.”

Stage 4 Lymphoma survivor shares Her Journey To Inspire Others

Stage 4 Lymphoma survivor story
“You were assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”
Shanee’ Wilson was diagnosed with lymphoma in January 2017 but she made a strong comeback and punched cancer on the face.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“Shanee Wilson Stage 4 lymphoma survivor after being hospitalized for 36 days of tears, unknown assumptions, negative tests, three biopsies, and a surgery.”
 
The Journey
 
Stage 4 Lymphoma survivor's journey
“My journey with cancer was the scariest, most uncomfortable and uncertain time of my life. I’ve endured several battles in life but nothing by far compares to cancer. I truly lost myself, questioned my faith, wondered why cancer was given to me and got caught up in confusion of why this was all happening to me. Cancer was truly the fight for my life. Being someone who ate healthily, worked out 3-5 times a week and who has never been hospitalized in life, I would have never imagined that cancer would ever happen to me but it did. As I lost my energy, mind, and strength, God allowed me to restore my faith, renew myself and truly brought out a much better version of myself. While cancer was the hardest time in my entire life, it was also the most remarkable thing God has brought me through and for that, I will forever be thankful.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My husband, my daughter and my family were my reason why. Being that I just got married only 6 months before being diagnosed, I knew that I couldn’t give up on my husband. Knowing that my daughter was only five years old and there was so much I needed to teach her in life, I knew for a fact that giving up or giving in was NOT an option: my baby needed me so I cried for God each and every night to allow me a second chance at life so that I could give her my heart, soul, guidance, and direction her beautiful soul deserved.”
 
The biggest hindrance
 
“My biggest hindrance was not feeling like myself, not being able to do for myself, needing to rely on others for so much just drove me crazy. I can honestly say that I was helpless and hopeless. Coming from being a corporate America employee, a business owner, a person that did not understand relying on others or sitting still, I truly fought through insanity as I sat in the hospital bed so long so helplessly. I am still perplexed to this very day that I needed help walking to the restroom, standing to brush my teeth, learning to walk again, my husband bathed me because my energy didn’t allow me to bathe myself. To this day, no one but my husband and daughter truly understands just how much life cancer took out of me.”
 
Message to other fighters
Message for cancer fighters
“My message to my fellow fighters is to fight on. Hold onto hope and faith. Trust in the Lord at all times to see you though. This will be the hardest time of your life but better days are ahead of you and when you feel like giving up, rest assured that trouble doesn’t always last.”

Stage 2b Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now A Top Real Estate Agent

Stage 2b Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now A Top Real Estate Agent
” Keep Going Don’t Stop! KGDS!”
Barbara was diagnosed with Lymphoma January 21st, 2014. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a top real estate agent based in Portland.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“November 2013, I found a lump under my arm. At first, I thought it was nothing and everyone assured me it was. A month went by and I had new lumps. Larger and under both arms. I made an appointment with my doctor. By the time I got into the doctor. The lumps were bulging out of my neck. I knew something was wrong. I then had an ultrasound on the enlarged lymph nodes. I really knew something was wrong while being looked at they patted my arm and told me everything would be ok ….my doctor called with the results of stage 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma January 21st, 2014. I was 29, newly married with an 18-month-old son.”
 
The Journey
 
Stage 2b Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
Completely terrifying. I ended up going 8 rounds of chemotherapy and years of follow up visits. Chemo was terrible and almost killed me. I lost 25 lbs in about a month and ended up in the ER followed up with a week stay in quarantine because I had no immune system left. I froze eggs before starting chemo so I could ensure another child was a possibility in my future. It was nearly too much for my 29-year-old mind to handle…but I survived and am 4 years in remission. I have a better outlook on life and know I can handle much more than I ever thought I could.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My toddler son Miles – he was my ultimate reason to keep going.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“You CAN survive. Be your own advocate with your health providers. Listen but ask questions. Ask for a time out if you feel you need one. You will be glad you did. It might just save your life”

Stage 4 Hodgkin ‘s Lymphoma Survivor Shares Her Inspiring Journey

Stage 4 Hodgkin 's Lymphoma Survivor
“Life is too short not to live it to its fullest.”
Becky was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2017. Fortunately, she has defeated cancer and take control of her healthy life again.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed Oct 2017 after being sick for months. After being diagnosed with pneumonia and having a chest x-ray it was determined that further testing was needed. This testing ultimately found that I had stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
 
The Journey
 
Stage 4 Hodgkin 's Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
“I was diagnosed after being sick for months. I was misdiagnosed with asthma first. After being officially diagnosed, though cancer is never what you want to hear, I was relieved to have answers and a treatment plan. I received 12 rounds of chemo over 24 weeks. I had one hospital admittance during treatment. It wasn’t fun. I had long blonde hair that had to be shaved once it started falling out in clumps. I was on a restrictive diet and lost all strength in my legs. I was fortunate enough to have a supportive boss who allowed me to work from home the week after my treatments to help minimize my exposure to germs and illness. I am now officially cancer free and starting my life over again in a sense.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“Life was my motivation. I’m 34 years old and both of my parents have passed away. They died way too early. Life is precious and short and you have to do everything you can to live life to its fullest. I have wonderful friends and family who have been a great support. My boyfriend used all his work vacation time to be at every treatment session. I live for them and for me.”
 
The biggest hindrance
 
“Lack of strength and having to ask for help with simple tasks like opening water bottles. I have neuropathy in my hands and feet so things are hard to do when I can’t feel them.”
 
Message to other fighters
 
Message for cancer patients
“You got this. It’s not going to be fun or easy but know it’s a fight worth fighting. Lean on your friends and family for support.”

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Tells Her 10 Years Long Journey

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor's 10 Years Long Journey
“Life is not about how you die but how you live.” I have it tattooed on my back 🙂
Sarah was diagnosed with Lymphoma but this time cancer messed up with the bad girl. She punched cancer on the nose and told it that she is the only boss of her life.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was first diagnosed at 19 with B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, relapsed at 22 with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and relapsed at 24 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.”
 
The Journey
 
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor's Journey
“My cancer journey has been going for almost 10 years, but I will try to keep this short and sweet! I was first diagnosed in 2009 at 19 yrs old with Large Diffuse B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (isn’t that a mouthful!) which presented as a large mediastinal mass right behind my breast bone. I was a student nurse at the time training to be a mental health nurse at Queens. My symptoms were extreme fatigue, dry skin and chest pain which progressively got worse- I was also a student who partied a lot so brushed it off for a while. After a trip to my GP who sent me to A&E for a chest X-ray I was kept in. 3 days later after getting a CT scan my doctor told me I had a mass which they thought was lymphoma. I had 15 biopsies of the tumor actually and they confirmed it was Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From I went into hospital until I started chemotherapy was 3 weeks. I had 6 cycles of R-CHOP chemotherapy (3 months). This put me in remission and I returned to nursing and completed 8 months of 2nd year. In April 2012 I had a stitch in my shoulder that wouldn’t go away and became quite painful. I had had this pain on and off since August time- I had had a miscarriage and that was the first time I got the stitch. On the day it wouldn’t go away I called up to A&E to get a checkup. They did an X-ray which showed another mass, this time in front of my right lung directly behind my breast. I was admitted again and biopsies completed to confirm it was Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma again. I was started on 4 cycles of ESHAP chemotherapy as an inpatient, my stem cells where harvested and I received an autologous stem cell transplant which kept me in hospital for 6 weeks, followed by 4 weeks of radiotherapy. (treatment was 8ish months) This kept me in remission for less than a year. In May 2013 I had started getting PET scans to see if I was in remission. Lymph nodes where showing on my PET scan in my neck, groin and tonsils although they were very small and I had recently got a big tattoo on my back and the shingles that my doctor said could have caused the lymph nodes showing. We waited a few weeks to scan me again, but my lymph nodes and tonsils where still showing up on the next scan, so they decided to remove my tonsils to test as they were easiest to get to. My tonsils came back clear off cancer, which was great and we thought I was in remission. A few weeks after getting my tonsils out I felt a lump at the base of my neck at the front, it was quite large and you could see it when I turned my head. I didn’t even call the hospital I just went straight up to bridge water and asked to see a doctor. They referred me straight to ENT as urgent. I had another operation to remove the lump in my neck which turned out to be another relapse, but to make it more interesting it had returned as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma- a different form of cancer. My doctor told me my only hope for a cure was another Stem cell Transplant, this time a donor one, which would be in Dublin. My doctor applied for funding for a new drug called Brentuximab which I started in Jan 2014 which appeared to be keeping my cancer at bay until I could get the stem cell transplant. I had a PET scan in May 2014 which showed my original tumor was active again and my doctors felt the brentuximab was no longer working and I needed a different chemotherapy regime. I was started on GEMCIS chemotherapy and only tolerated 2 rounds of it. I was down in Dublin seeing my consultant and they did another PET scan. This scan showed progression of the tumor and I was told there wasn’t many options. I came back up to Belfast and was admitted later that evening for neutropenia. While I was being treated for a few days as inpatient the doctors discussed my case at MDT meeting. My doctors explained going into a Allogeneic Stem cell Transplant with active cancer was not ideal or recommended and extremely high risk but it was about my only option. At this stage I asked my doctor how long I would have if I did not do the transplant and I was told 6months- 1 year. I had weighed up my options and at this point I had decided I did not want to do anymore treatment and had begun to gently tell family and friends my decision. A consultant from the Royal decided to operate on me and remove the tumor to see which cancer it was. They operated and removed it and it came back clear- there was no active cancer. My doctors couldn’t explain why my original tumor that had showed as active and progressed on the PET was in fact inactive- we decided it was a miracle! I was then ready to go down to Dublin for my Allogenic Stem cell Transplant which I had in Nov 2014 I received a week of chemotherapy and then was transplanted with my lovely new stem cells which came from a man in Germany. I was in hospital for 3 months in Dublin. When I finally got back to Belfast in 2015 I was in the city for another 2 months due to viruses etc. The year after my transplant was hard, there was lots of hospital visits, appointments and stays. I had 7-8 viruses a few of which were hard to control and kept reactivating. I received different treatments such as immunotherapy to help with this. So that’s my story 🙂 and the last few years I have spent piecing my life back together, getting used to life after cancer and now my passion is to help others on their journey!”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My mum had breast cancer 2 years before I was diagnosed. I took on her positive attitude and resilience that she had during her cancer experience. If she could beat it so could I. I had so much to live for and so much I still wanted to do with my life. Yes, I had shit days but the dominating attitude I held was this Fu*ker will not beat me! Either I killed it or it killed me.”
 
The biggest hindrance
 
“That cancer didn’t get the hint and the Fu*ker kept on coming back when it wasn’t wanted!!”
 
Message to other fighters
 
Message for cancer fighters
“This may sound odd but embrace the journey. It’s one hell of a rollercoaster, there will be good days, bad days, horrendous days and days you want it all to be over. But you will find an inner strength you never knew existed. Every day remember to find something you are grateful for, remember that it won’t last forever and remember that every day holds the possibility of a miracle. You are in control more than you think. Take your power back, work on your mindset. The state of mind you are in can be your biggest obstacle or greatest asset. 90% of the battle is getting yourself in the right state of mind!”

Hodgkin Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocyte Leukemia Survivor is now a book author

Hodgkin Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocyte Leukemia Survivor

Favorite Quote

“…the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…”

– Primo Levi (July 31, 1919 – April 11, 1987)

Meet Glen D. Kirkpatrick, Jr. who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 1991. He has now successfully defeated cancer and is now an author. He has written a book on his cancer survivorship – ‘Overcome: A Story of Intervention, Rescue, and Redemption’.

The Diagnosis

“In 1987, I discovered a lump in my neck. Lab work and biopsy results showed I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Radiation therapy brought the cancer into remission the same year. Two years later I saw my oncologist due to lingering fatigue. I was once again diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chemotherapy brought remission by the end of the year. In 1991, I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocyte leukemia, and five years later the cancer went into remission.”

The Journey

Hodgkin Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocyte Leukemia Survivor's Story

“Six years into our marriage, my wife Debbie and I received the shocking news that I had cancer. I was thirty years old, and our son Russell was only two. Radiation therapy brought remission that same year. Debbie and I celebrated with a trip to Cancun, Mexico. Two years later, we were distressed when the lymphoma returned. This second battle with cancer became more challenging as I was diagnosed with drug resistant depression. Chemotherapy brought the cancer into remission. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) lifted the depression.

Over the years, radiation, and chemotherapy has done damage to several of my organs, including heart and lungs. In 2011, treatment late effects forced me to retire early from my law enforcement career. Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue (CFS) limits my daily activity most. For me living with chronic illness is a physical, psychological, and spiritual struggle. I need God’s help to overcome daily. He provided me support by showing me that focusing on my identity in Christ was central.

Holding fast to my sonship has made all the difference in my spirit and my life. Long-term cancer journey has taught me the importance of finding joy in each day, and the significance of living in the moment. In 2018, Debbie and I released our book, “Overcome: A Story of Intervention, Rescue, and Redemption; Our Cancer Survivorship Journey.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/194692041X/”

Biggest Hindrance

“Daily living with late effects/chronic illness including: heart, lung, and kidney disease; chronic fatigue; cognitive impairment.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My wife Debbie, children, and grandchildren.”

Message to other fighters

message for cancer patients

“Reach out to God, family, and friends. Be kind, and patient with yourself (I’m still learning this one.) Practice physical, and emotional self-care. Continue to involve yourself in the things that bring you fulfillment. (For me it’s writing, listening to music, walking, and spending time with family and friends).”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here