Sally Dang

First post: Jul 26, 2017 Latest post: Jan 22, 2018
I have so much more to experience in life. One of them was to not on the bucket list: fighting  for my life at the age of 24. I graduated college as an LPN and was working at Greenleaf Assisted Living in Thief River Falls, MN and I also was working as a CC at Prairie Community Services at the time. It was around Summer of 2015 when my boyfriend and a co-worker noticed a lump on the right side of my neck. It didn't hurt so I never thought too much about it.  I decided to make an appointment to see Dr. Gottipati at Sanford clinic in Thief River Falls, Mn, he examined me and gave me antibiotics. After finishing the course of the medication, the lump did not improve. I went back in and the doctor wanted to biopsy my lymph node. Around the same time, my boyfriend had been offered a job in Grand Forks, ND. I was busy trying to move, find a place, and job. Once I was settled in our new place and oriented to our new jobs. I went to see a new doctor at  Altru clinic in Grand Forks, ND. Dr. Byfuglien referred me to ENT. Dr. Yoshida ordered a CT scan of my neck. The result showed multiple enlarged lymph nodes which raised a concern. Dr. Yoshida then ordered a neck mass removal (biopsy). Surgery was done on May 26, 2017. The biopsy was sent to the pathologist at Mayo Clinic. On June 9, 2017- Dr. Yoshda called me with the result of the biopsy. He informed me that I had a rare type of Lymphoma. He was not comfortable with my case and I was referred to Mayo Clinic. On June 20, 2017- I seen an ENT at Mayo Clinic, she was unable to assist me and I was then referred to Hematology. I was able to be scheduled to see the Hematologist the next day. Dr. Thanarjasingam ordered more testing which included labs, bone marrow collection and a PET scan. On June 28, 2017-Dr. T went over the results- the PET scan showed a tumor approx. 10 cm on my pelvic and it was blocking my ureter and it was keeping urine from draining into my bladder. I met with a urologist and was able to get a stent placed to help save my kidney. At this time, all of my major organs are functioning well enough for me to receive treatment. After the results from the tumor in my pelvic was completed. Dr. T had enough information to diagnose me with Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma- Stage 4. It is a cancer that affects my white blood cells (important for fighting infections).  Dr. T recommended receiving an aggressive chemotherapy treatment and a stem cell/bone marrow transplant afterwards.  Due to the side effects and my immune system being compromised the doctor recommended that I do not work during treatment. I have volunteered to participate in a clinical trial (research) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to find a better treatment for this type of cancer, I will be testing Revilimid with CHOEP. My boyfriend is my caregiver and has been missing a lot of hours at work to bring me to all of my appointments. My first chemotherapy was scheduled for Thursday July 20,2017 but had to be reschedule to next Thursday due to not getting my testing done in time. This is going to be a long journey for me, 6 months of chemotherapy and 2 months of transplant. I have hope that this will all work out and I will get better with the support and care from my friends, the community and my family. I can't fight this battle alone. I want to reach out to others for support and guidance. I want be be able to stay positive and strong throughout  this treatment.  Thank you in advance. 

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