In November of 2017, just a few months after giving birth to my daughter, I began experiencing a chronic cough. On New Year’s Day of 2018, a tumor along with fluid was discovered in my right lung. I was age 22, currently 23. I was unable to lift my arms for an x-ray, I could barely get enough air to speak. I had to leave my four month old daughter to try and determine what was wrong with me and determine if the tumor was cancerous. At first the doctors believed it to be Stage 4 Lung Cancer, but after more pathology reports came in, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. At this time, both my lungs were filled with fluid, I had tumors on my spleen and liver, right lung (which is wrapped around a major blood vessel to my heart), and one in the right side of my neck along with a clot. After the first dose of chemo I was able to talk and walk for the first time in awhile; it was a miracle. During this time I was pumping and dumping because I had a brand new baby, my only one. To say this time of my life was difficult would be an understatement.
From January 2018-June 2018 I was treated with ABVD chemotherapy, quite a rough regimen. During the treatment I received every 2 weeks I had to care for a baby. I would wake up throwing up and with no breaks care for my child. In June of 2018 a PET scan showed a light on my tumor in my lung. The only treatment option I had was chemo. I couldn’t receive radiation due to where the tumor is located, near my heart and breasts for that would have caused breast cancer and or heart problems. In September of 2018, I discovered my cancer had returned, the doctors were not sure at first they thought the tumor was just lighting up due to inflammation. In October of 2018 I started Chemotherapy called Brentaux. This regimen was easy. However my oncologist encouraged me to undergo a stem cell transplant. Scariest thing ever. In January of 2019 after various tests, chemotherapies, and stem cell collection I was finally admitted into the hospital for my Auto Stem Cell Transplant. Currently I am in the hospital recovering from it.
Cancer has prevented me from traveling. I have to keep me and my child indoors due to illnesses that I cannot catch. Instead of being in the hospital writing this right now I would be at home with my 17 month old. Cancer has flipped not only my life upside down but my whole family’s. my cancer has prevented me from working, prevented me from traveling, sometimes even swimming, it has prevented me from being there physically for my baby at a time of such extreme development. I am 23 years old for crying out loud! All of my friends are partying, traveling, starting their careers, yet here I am in a hospital receiving harsh concentrated chemotherapy in hopes that it will cure me.