Tag Archive | hodgkin’s lymphoma

One Year Ago Today…

One year ago today,

I had hair, long hair.
I was scared.
I didn’t know what to expect.
I had my first PET scan.
I wondered what the doctors would find.
I was afraid of having my blood drawn.
I was terrified of chemo.
I worried about the future.

Today,

I have short, fun, sassy hair. But I HAVE hair!
I am still nervous when I go into the doctor’s office.
I know what happens when you’re diagnosed with cancer, and it’s not fun to go through.
I know that the doctors have found that I no longer have cancer!
I still don’t like having my blood drawn, but it’s not as scary as it used to be.
I have conquered chemo.
I am at peace about my future, and it looks good!

I’ve come a long way in a year. I’ve seen and done things that I never want to repeat, yet wouldn’t trade, (and no, I’m not lying). I am writing this as I sit in the waiting room for my 6 month post-chemo checkup with Dr. Sharman at the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute in Springfield, OR. I am so thankful for the love and care they showed me through my battle.

Do I worry about my cancer coming back? Sometimes, but it’s usually only when I’m sitting in places like this. Most of the time, I’m out being normal – living my life!

I have to say a special thank you to Keller Williams Realty Mid-Willamette, and the non-profit foundation of Keller Williams Realty International, KW Cares. If it weren’t for the financial assistance that we received from them and many others not affiliated with KW, we would be buried in debt with little hope of recovering for years. For all you have all done, I am so grateful.

God has truly been my strength through all of this. I’m reminded daily as I hear songs on Air1 and KLove – songs that encouraged me through the tough times. He gave me the strength and the will to make it. Everyone else was like God “with skin on”. You gave me encouragement, love, hope and inspiration. Courage to make it through. And because of that, today I am cancer free.

On the left is my first PET Scan, on 4/23/13, and on the right is my most recent PET Scan image on 1/25/13. Β Note that the cancer mass in my chest (the irregularly shaped one) is no longer lighting up with cancer! Β The other large, dark spots you see are the heart, kidneys, and bladder. Β And of course my brain & face, but I figured you knew that. πŸ™‚

1-24-13 PET Scan

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Another Fight Is Over

Well my friends, I’m kinda shocked to be posting twice in a week. I know, crazy. Just think how lucky you are! πŸ™‚ Just kidding, you’re probably not reading this. Anyway, sometimes I just write to get things off my chest.

Tonight I am a little sad. Another friend has fought the good fight, she finished her race and she kept the faith. Wendy Ramsey fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for a long time – I’m not sure how many years. In December, 2 months after my last chemo treatment, I was going through a time where I thought maybe my symptoms were returning & I didn’t know really who to talk to. I didn’t want to worry my family, so I reached out to Wendy just to ask what signs she had when her cancer was returning. I want to copy her response to my worries so you can see what an encouragement she was to me.

“My cancer just grew under the first chemo. So you being cancer free is a blessing! I did go into post menopause and my thyroid stopped working properly…your symptoms sound like those could be possible. I would ask your Dr when you get in. As for those freak out moments I spend time in God’s word and prayer. He is my peace…enjoy every moment you have. Don’t allow Satan to put bad thoughts in your head. I like to repeat daily even if it’s not how I feel – ‘I am happy, healthy, and cancer free!’ Remember we serve a Loving God who is our Healer. πŸ™‚ Rest in him…sending prayers up for you!”

I don’t think I could say it better. Welcome home to Jesus, precious Wendy. You have been such a shining light for Him. May you now enjoy His Presence.

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Oh What A Difference A Year Makes!

One year ago today I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Today I am in complete remission. God Is GOOD!

I had planned to write the story of how it all started and post it today, but I’ve been so busy with work, that I haven’t had time to do it. I guess that can be a good thing. πŸ™‚

Psalm 118:17 ~ “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.”

Feeling Better Day by Day

This morning I went to Samaritan Albany General Hospital to have some preliminary blood work done for my PET scan this coming Friday. I had a new phlebotomist when I went in, so I was a little bit nervous, but she was amazing – it barely hurt at all! πŸ™‚

After the blood draw, I got to go to Urgent Care in North Albany to have my ankles looked at. Last night, I was going down the stairs at my mom & dad’s house only to slip on the steps, roll both ankles, and break my favorite shoes! Grr. Anyway, I got in to Urgent Care, and when the doctor walked in, I thought I recognized him. Turns out, Dr. Simon was the doctor that was on duty last April when I went in with an irregular heartbeat. He is the one that found the tennis ball sized mass in my chest.

We chuckled over the discovery and talked about how my last year has been, and then he got to work. He looked over my ankles, even though the right one didn’t feel too bad to me. I was a little surprised when he said that he was going to have my left ankle & my right foot x-rayed. I said, “If you send me outta here with two casts, I’m never going to come see you again!” πŸ™‚ Turns out, they’re both just sprained. It’s not really a big deal, I’m just wearing a brace on my left ankle – the right foot is virtually pain free.

I’ve been getting more energy day by day anymore. I think the biggest contributor is the fact that I started drinking some nutritional shakes three times a day. To keep from sounding too much like a commercial, I’ll keep it low key, but I am amazed at how I’ve been feeling lately! I’d be happy to tell you more about it if you want to ask me directly, but I can definitely say that I’m loving me some Reliv shakes!

I’ll let you know how the PET scan turns out probably next week after I meet with my oncologist, Dr. Sharman, on the 29th. Until then, enjoy life & don’t waste a day. You never know what the next day can bring!

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2012 in review

I thought this would be a fun post to have for those of you out there that want a very quick year in review of my blog. πŸ™‚

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Better Than I Deserve

Some days it seems like words just flow while other days I feel stuck in my writing, but I felt it important to update all of you who care about me and my family.

It’s almost as if I’ve been waiting for the hammer to fall. Waiting for that moment when I start feeling horribly rotten again. The weird thing is, it hasn’t happened like it has in the past. Now, I’m not saying I haven’t had any side effects, because I have, but they have mercifully been so much easier. I definitely got cranky yesterday though πŸ™‚ and naps have been a daily occurrence lately.

I have to believe that it is because of all the prayers going up on our behalf, but also, maybe partly because I know this is it! There are no more chemo sessions in my future. Yes, I go for hydration treatment tomorrow, but that’s going to be my last IV for a while. I am really excited about that!

Thank you all for yummy meals and coveted prayers. Onward to health!

Anxiety

I don’t know why I have it. I know what’s coming up, it won’t hurt. I will be fine. Yet I still seem to be anxious. I couldn’t sleep last night till almost 1:30 this morning. Sleepless nights do allow me to get caught up on past episodes of The Bachelorette though. πŸ™‚

When you’re praying for me, please remember a woman from our church, Liz Unser. She also has lymphoma, but the non-Hodgkin’s kind, and her prognosis isn’t as good as mine has been. She’s got a lot ahead of her still & I know she and her sister could really use your prayers as well.

Well, off to chemo I go tomorrow. Number 7 out of 12. About 2 1/2 months of ickyness yet and then it will be over.