Dear Jack


Active LifeList Participant

I was in my senior year of high school and freshly back in high school from the pandemic. I was sick with bronchitis and a cold just like everyone else it seemed at the time. I had been to the doctor for treatment and my symptoms were responsive, including my enlarged lymph nodes in my neck. After a few visits and blood work that showed elevated but not too concerning white blood count levels, I was sent for a chest x-ray that showed a completely deflated left lung as well as a mediastinal chest mass that was half the size of my chest wall. I was sent immediately to the ER. From there, scans were completed and I was told I had some type of cancer. After two weeks of tests, they finally diagnosed me with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and set a course of treatment. I received most of my treatment outpatient for my Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Treatment was tough but I made it through and was told I was in remission as of July 2023. Post treatment scans were nerve racking but nothing compared to my 6 month scan where my bloodwork came back showing I had leukemia. I fell to the floor once again. How could I do this again? It’s too hard. My aunt and the nurses picked me up and helped me to calm down.  My doctor assured me he had me for this battle too.  Immediately I was sent to the ICU because my white blood cell counts were dangerously high.  After a few days, they were under control and I was transferred to the regular oncology unit.  I was told this time I had developed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia from the etoposide chemotherapy I had received from my Hodgkin’s treatment.  My doctor calls me a unicorn because if I was to develop any cancer from the etoposide, it would have been AML.  After about a week and a half I went home and then I developed an infection and was readmitted for another two weeks. While there, I completed my induction phase of treatment and they performed my final bone marrow aspiration. It was clear. No one could believe it. I was again in remission. Tears flowed throughout the hospital and over the phone. Now leukemia is not easy to keep away. This was just the first phase of treatment. I am now moving onto the consolidation phase which is 60 days long. After this, I will move on to a bone marrow transplant.  I am cautiously hopeful this is my last time I have to battle cancer.

Gabbie’s LifeList:

  1. Books

  2. A Once Upon a Book Club box

  3. Lunch and shopping with friends

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