Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I've created it to keep friends and family updated about my journey and to also hear words of encouragement through this difficult time in my life. Please sign my guestbook under "well wishes" at the bottom of the page- your words and prayers help me get through each day.
Here's my story: While I was getting my hair done for my college roomate's wedding this fall, my hair stylist asked me if she should hide the lumps on the back of my neck with my updo. I didn't know what she was talking about and she showed me in the mirror. I reached back with my hand and could feel them. I didn't think too much about it at the time, but I worried about them during the next week as they were not going away. About two weeks later, my neck began to get sore and I found some more lumps under my right armpit. I started to worry and I made an appointment to see my doctor at the beginning of the week. My doctor ordered some blood work and tests. By the end of the week I was told that I had non-hodgkins lymphoma. I remember looking at my doctor and thinking "you're crazy! I'm only 23 years old" "he must have the wrong chart!" He told me that it was serious and that I needed to go see an oncologist as soon as I could get an appointment- I was terrified! I did not know what non-hodgkins lymphoma was or that it was even CANCER! Right away, I texted Julie, one of my roomates at CSB who was a nursing major- as I waited for her to respond my phone rang. It was Julie and she was crying. I kept asking her what was wrong and that is when she explained to me what non-hodgkins lymphoma was. Eventhough my doctor had explained it, I didn't hear it until I talked to Julie. My boyfriend, Tom, and I cried for hours- we had just gotten engaged after my graduation from CSB and we were planning our wedding for next summer. When I met the oncologist, he told me I had a low grade non-hodgkin's lymphoma. I thought that this was good news but he told me that high grade lymphomas are often more curable. My doctor insisted that I begin treatment right away and he said it could not wait until after the wedding. I panicked and didn't know what to do. I was really confused and didn't understand much of what he was saying until his nurse (also a Bennie) explained it all to me. I started crying and she cried with me- I was really embarrassed but she hugged me and told me that she and my doctor will be there to help me through this. I will never forget how kind and comforting she was- she made me feel better by just taking the time to help me understand what was happening. She suggested using this website to keep people updated and to get support from my family and friends.