I was diagnosed with stage 4B Hodgkin’s lymphoma on February 22, 2022. This diagnosis was a long time coming. I spent six months going to various doctors trying to figure out what was wrong. However, due to my age and relatively good health, none of the doctors suspected cancer and never looked down that path. When I was diagnosed, I was in the middle of my masters program. I was given two options: drop out with no refund or push through and finish. I decided to finish.
In June of 2022, I graduated with my masters in Learning and Technology. I went through six months of chemo and initially had a good response to the treatment. Chemo was biweekly, so I decided to continue working as a high school special education teacher. The kids gave me a reason to keep fighting. In August 2022, I finished all 12 doses of my chemo and went in for a PET scan. My scan showed new activity, so I had to undergo two surgery biopsies to determine if it was cancer. Both came back negative, so my oncologist decided to wait three months for more scans and said, “this won’t kill you”. In January of this year, I was able to get yet another scan, and this time there was more activity. It was pretty concerning. I was transferred to the transplant team and did two more biopsies to get a positive diagnosis of cancer again. In April of 2023, I started a weekly chemo for six weeks. The goal is to get me in remission and then move onto a stem cell transplant.
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