I kicked cancer to the curb!
a THIRD time!
Yep, you read that right!!! I kicked cancer to the curb a third time in 2016. January 23rd, 2016 was the day of my last chemo, TWO YEARS AGO.
I am sharing something personal on the blog today because you see my, CancerFREEaversary was January 28th, TWO years cancer free! Yep, I totally made that word up, but you see the 28th represented something BIG for me!! I WON, cancer didn’t.
The BAD WORD!
So here’s my story, when I was 31, I was diagnosed with Stage 4, B-cell follicular, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, in November of 2008. When you HEAR the words CANCER, you stop hearing anything else, your whole world just…it just…blackens. Your mind whirls, you think it’s a cruel joke and it’s somehow wrong. I was young, I wasn’t supposed to have cancer. We had just bought our house and settled into little ol Apple Creek. We had things to do, a life to live, I had 3 kids! As I am sitting in a doctor’s office trying to hold it together, not to look as shocked as I felt while they tell you what to expect, then you hear you’re going to lose your hair. WHAT?!?! NO!!! WHY?!?!
You can never be prepared for the news, no matter how hard you try. So guess what, I pulled up my big girl pants and fought! I fought hard! I made it through being allergic to the best drug for Lymphoma, by being admitted to the hospital for 24-hour nurse supervision to get that darn Rituxan! Then I would head to chemo the following two days, it was a long haul for sure, 6 months worth! The R-CHOP regimen was a hard one. But we got through, the hair grew back and I WON!
AGAIN, NO way!
October 2014, I knew it but didn’t want to admit it, I had another LARGE lymph node on the side of my neck. A few months I ignored, I may have even embarrassingly enough had canceled my cat scan. I knew it was back, but yet it couldn’t be, could it? Finally, in January 2015, I admitted it to one of my very best friends about the Lymph Node and the canceled appointment. She looked at me as if I had grown three heads! You see, she herself is a Stage 4 survivor of Colon Cancer at a young age, so she knew the importance. She looked at me and asked if I was some kind of idiot! Lol, the nerve!!!
But she knew I needed a swift kick in the butt to put myself aside and think of my family. If you would like to check out my amazing friend and fellow cancer survivor, stop by http://colonclub.com/. Check out Leighann Sturgins blogs, she, my friends is a cancer WARRIOR!
Oh and she was right, I was an idiot. That cat scan was re-scheduled and on February 14, 2015, (yes I remember very clearly it was Valentines Day) we met with the Lymphoma specialist in Cleveland who suggested a stem cell transplant. The odds were not in my favor, so we decided to give chemo another go first! Round 2 was much better with a new drug called Treanda to add to my Rituxin, even though I had to stay in the hospital for the Rituxin. The new drug wouldn’t make me lose my hair! Hey, I can do this AGAIN, right!?!
Third times a charm?
That my friends brings me to my third diagnosis, I had a cancer relapse for the third time in 2015. So, you know the ending, I KICKED cancer to the curb a THIRD time! I WON, cancer DIDN’T!
Thank you to the Lord first of all! My husband and kids, who held the fort down and my hair back as I spent much time sick! (LOL) Also, many family and friends through the course of 9 years that have stood by my family and I. The countless nurses and doctors who helped us WIN! So many meals brought, new friends who wanted to know us and support us, (Rayonna looking at you here ). Anonymous cards with money that would show up at just the perfect time that were answers to prayer. I owe you all a HUGE THANK YOU! Doctor Masci and staff at Cleveland Clinic, you are the best! Additionally, the Faithful Little Cupcake for cookie donation for the staff at the clinic!
Finally, a BIG thank you to my sweet friend Megan from Sarver Photography for fitting me in her schedule on the last minute request, when I decided I wanted to have this memory captured for the final time! Enjoy these pictures Megan captured for me and stop by her photography blog to check out her perception of the day here!
AND THANK YOU!
If you have stayed with me through this entire post, THANK YOU!
I loved that my nurses ALL wanted me that day, so they took turns!
My sweet friend and nurse Gail!
I wanted to do something special for the staff at Doctor Masci’s office as a Thank you and my beautiful friend from the Faithful Little Cupcake donated these to me to take!
I love the be brave braclet my friend Trude got me and my KEEP collective bangle with my cancer ribbon, my camera charm and most of FAITH wording. My sister in law sells KEEP if you are interested, message her on fb here.
We pulled Jenna and Jerren out of school on a last minute whim to go along to my last chemo, I sadly decided all of the pictures and final goodbye to chemo party at the last minute, that I didn’t let my oldest son know in enough time to get off work. But he supported me all the way!
I am so thankful I got the privilege to ring this bell!
Don’t mind my ugly/happy crying!
Love these ladies!
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