In February of 2018, I noticed some swelling in my neck and saw my primary care doctor for what I assumed to be a thyroid issue. After a battery of tests, surgical biopsy, and bone marrow biopsy, I was diagnosed with stage IV nodular sclerosing Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I never felt bad, so the diagnosis was quite a shock. I began chemotherapy May 1, 2018 and completed my 6th cycle of ABVD October 2, 2018. My PET scan after 2 cycles showed great progress. Unfortunately, my PET scan after the 6th cycle was not as promising, showing primary refractory disease. In other words, the Hodgkin’s disease had grown. After getting second, third, and fourth opinions for the next steps in treatment, my doctors have decided an autologous stem cell “rescue” or transplant is my best chance of a cure. I will be participating in a clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston, TX prior to the transplant. This trial will last 12-18 weeks depending on the outcomes of my PET scans. After the trial, I will begin the transplant process. I start my treatment again tomorrow, January 4th, and feel very confident in my team of doctors and the next steps.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis truly is life-changing. Some of the ways it has changed my life are actually for the better. I clearly have a new appreciation for my life and health. Sarah has been nothing short of amazing, and I know now more than ever that I have the absolute best family and friends and support system in my corner. I’ve met new people who have made me a better person without even knowing how positively they have impacted my life. Friends from every stage of my life have stepped up to the plate and showered us with love. Even though the initial treatments were not completely successful, I feel optimistic and blessed by such a strong team and support system behind me. I continue to be humbled by the amount of love shown to me and my family from texts, cards, financial help, trips to the doctor with me, food being brought, fun mail, etc. I could go on for days. Ultimately, life has thrown quite the curve ball, but I am hopeful and plan to keep fighting this disease with all that I can. Thank you all for your continued love and support.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.” Colossians 3:23
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9