Saturday, June 27, 2015

I am conquering lymphoma

Cancer is an ugly word. Six weeks ago this ugly word was introduced into my life, and six weeks ago is when I decided I was going to fight this ugly word. This fight started as I was laying in a hospital bed, in the emergency room and the doctor told me the news. I remember looking at a coworker and saying, "I'll get thru this, I'll fight this" and that's exactly what I've been doing.

I wanted to write this blog to share what my fight looks like. So I'll just begin on how I began in this fight.
May 14th, the night my partner at work took me to the ED with terrible chest pain was the night I found out the news. They first thought my chest pain was caused from a collapsed part of my lung, or a blood clot, but then the CT scan came back with different results. I had a huge mass in my chest and I would need to be transferred downtown to the main hospital where further tests would be done, and a more clear prognosis given.

For the next week I endured multiple tests including blood draws, a PET scan, chest biopsy, a bone marrow biopsy, more blood draws, and a lot of waiting. I was in a lot of pain, and was on heavy pain medications and luckily don't remember alot of the waiting, but the results came back. I had the large mass in my chest along with a spot in my lung and a spot on my spine. I was officially diagnosed with stage 4, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on May 21st, and started aggressive chemotherapy that night.
Everything changed after that. I began to realize that my life for the next few months would involve being in the hospital every 2 weeks to get my chemo. I realized I would have to move back home so someone would be able to take care of me on my sick days, and face the reality that I would have to get sicker in order to get better. I made it through my first round of chemo with a lot of support, love and sleep, and after 16 days of being cooped up in a hospital, I was discharged home to begin my journey not only as a fighter but as a cancer survivor.

The next battle I faced was losing mt hair. Originally, one of the doctors told me I wouldn't lose my hair, but my oncologist looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You won't have your hair for the next round of chemo." That shook me. I loved my hair. I didn't want all of my long hair to fall out. So that night, I went and got it cut. The very next day small clumps began to fall out. Within 5 days handfuls were falling out with just me touching my head. After crying to my mom we called my aunt and I decided it would be way easier to shave it off, so that's exactly what I did. I decided cancer would not take my hair, I would.

One week later I went back for my second round of chemo, which went very smoothly. I got my port to receive chemo through this past week while I was at the hospital waiting for answers as to why I passed out after coming home from my second round. I have a lot of appointments coming up this week, and hopefully those will reveal more answers to all my obnoxious symptoms. But as for now, I am trusting that God has this all planned out and the doctors will be able to help subside these issues.

 I have spent 30 out of the last 40 days in the hospital since the ugly word cancer came into my life. The battle and fight are rough, but I know I have a God that works all things out for the good, a God who finishes the good work that He started, and a God who is fighting along side with me. I also have amazing friends and family who have constantly supported and loved on me during this time. I am beyond blessed and overwhelmed with all the love, time and energy given by so many people. So some people might say that this is the beginning of my story, but its not. My story started 22 years ago when God first ordained the moments of my life, and I am excited to see that how God uses this for His glory and His plan.