In June of 2023, I was 22 years old and I came back to Ohio after living in Italy for seven months with my boyfriend. I was only back to complete some documents and then return in September. At the end of that month, I fell down the stairs and functionally broke my fall with my head. I ended up going to the ER to see if my brain was swelling and while my brain was fine, in a CT scan to see if I broke any neck bones, they found severe lymphadenopathy. I walked into the ER that day thinking I might have a concussion and left being told, “You could have leukemia, lymphoma, a severe infection or an inflammatory disease. In any case you need to call these offices at 8am sharp and schedule your ASAP appointments.”
This scan led to many others, blood work that shocked everyone but the oncologists, two biopsies, a serious infection and complications from my whole lymph node biopsy, ovarian tissue freezing, and dozens of appointments. I spent all of my free time learning about different lymphomas and chemo regimens, trying to prepare myself for what might come. On July 23rd around 6pm, my primary care doctor called me and I heard that it’s bad news. I cry, “Is it Hodgkin or Non-Hodgkin?!” He says, “It’s Hodgkin.” And I wept and celebrated and danced and sang because that meant I am gonna live.
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