I'm a youthful young mother who has always been healthy. Up until this year, I was always on the go. My husband Joel and I enjoyed spending time outdoors with our new baby Bella - going to the park, camping and hiking. I felt so contented and happy just being with my special girl and with the daily activities of being a mom. In February, I started coughing and just feeling crummy. I lacked energy to do basic things and found myself saying "No" to even the simplest things I enjoyed. I knew something was wrong.
In February, a trip to the doctor showed abnormal blood counts. The doctor thought it could just be a virus. When I didn't start feeling better, I went to the hematologist for extensive blood tests. Since coughing, they sent me for an x-ray that showed a large mass. Being such a young and vibrant woman, I thought it must only be a simple virus like pneumonia. I thought nothing of having to wait a couple of months to see a lung specialist. He sent me for a CT. Meanwhile, my baby girl was growing up and I didn't have the energy to keep up.
In July, a pulmonologist confirmed an abnormal CT. She sent me for a biopsy on the mass in my lung. Joel and I still felt confident that it was just pneumonia. The idea of having cancer was so far from my mind that I joked about going to the doctor to find out about "my cancer." They told me on Thursday that I would get the results on Monday. On Friday, I was just doing my mom-thing shopping at Aldi when the doctor's office called. The woman on the phone said, "It's not good. You have Hodgkins Lymphoma." In shock, I literally hung-up. Joel drove me home, both of our cell phones dead, scared and both crying our eyes out. Not knowing anything about my diagnosis except that it was cancer, I kept saying that I was going to die.
On Monday, I called the oncologist I was referred to. They couldn't get me in for a week. In that time, I researched my diagnosis. I felt less fear and more grateful for my husband and beautiful daughter. Getting scheduled for appointments was more frustrating than anything. Joel and I went to the doctor together. The doctor gave me a brief description my diagnosis and recommended treatment which includes chemotherapy and radiation. We were told that Hodgkins is a cancer will a very high survival rate. The next step would be staging and an exact treatment plan.
As I wait for my next appointments, I live with great hope for my future. I am so very tired most of the time and so very sick of coughing. My love for my family and appreciation for the people and things in my life give me the drive and motivation to push through the exhaustion. More than anything else, I want to feel better - to have the energy to live the life I know is ahead of me.
I'm so grateful for Joel and my dads taking care of Bella and of me. My work family is providing great support and encouragement. Nothing motivates me more to fight this disease than the smiles and hugs from my precious baby girl Bella.I know that I don't have to fight this alone. I am a survivor and this will not get me down. There's nothing more powerful than hope.
We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
I would to tribute my fight with Hodgkin's lymphoma to a dear friend's parents who lost their battle with cancer. Mary Jo and Dave Souders. They are my strength and my guardian angels.