Donna Culp

First post: 4/17/2017 Latest post: 8/18/2017
My Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Six months ago I came down with a "chest cold":  chest pressure, difficulty breathing, dry hacking cough, the usual. Went to the doctor. Took antibiotics for a week. Felt somewhat better but not completely. Over the course of a few months I would have some good days, some bad. Then in February I had a really bad weekend. Coughing was awful and my chest hurt like hell. I went to an urgent care walkin clinic. Sadly they dropped the ball. Said they didn't find anything wrong. A few weeks ago I got so tired of being sick: no energy, fever off and  on, cough, wheezing. Called my doctor. He didn't have any appointments open but another doctor in the practice did.  He immediately ordered chest X-rays.  Then CT scan with contrast. I have a mass in my chest cavity, 11.3 x 11.4 centimeters, in front of my heart and fluid build up around my heart as well as as between my lungs and chest wall. PET scan did not reveal any other areas of concern. I have more blood work, consultation to review the echocardiogram  and a biopsy to go through yet. The doctors believe this mass is lymphoma which is very treatable. What kind of lymphoma remains to be determined by the biopsy. Then the prescribed treatment. I am not a good story teller but, in a nutshell, I have cancer. I discovered on April 6th that all my feelings of not being healthy were true. By this time next week I should have the biopsy results and be planning a course of recovery.

My sister, Julie Boyle will be adding updates to the page for me from time to time. My mother does not use technology much so I will call her with updates or Julie will if I am not up to it.

I am trying to remain positive and upbeat. I know this experience will change me but I am hoping I will change for the better and come out the other end as a better person.

Telling my Mom was more difficult than finding out I was sick. Thank God my brothers John and Rocky were able to be with her. John broke the news and then she called me here in Florida. 

I won't know any more for about a week. I have an excellent team of doctors. It is overwhelming but I try to write everything down and my husband records doctor visits . Will update soon.

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