Cassandra’s Story

Site created on March 13, 2018

Hi there! I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma stage II-B.  It's been a ride so far, but I have an amazing support system. I will post updates on here for anyone who would like to follow our story.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Cassandra Ebersole

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."
 
Hi there! I keep meaning to pop on here and give updates, but truthfully we don't have too many! I've been feeling good, my energy seems to have returned (though I can't remember what level I was at before all this started so I can't really compare - ha!), I have no sores or signs of recurring symptoms, and I'm busy all the time! I still get hives so I'm taking medication for them daily. I've experimented here and there to see if I can wean myself off and be free of at least 1 more med, but it seems as though everytime I try I break out in unbelievable rashes and hives  within a few hours. I try this probably once a month, no luck so far. Same thing with the medication for my esophagus (with my throat being eroded, my stomach acids burn the tissues and create a not so fun sensation, so the meds suppress the acids and coat the tissues), I try going off them every month to see if I can ditch the meds but no luck. I'm not too worried about it though, considering they are really the only things I need now. 

I've had my regular 3 month exams and check ups with Dr Mavromatis and Dr Watkins. As well as my PET and CT scans. They have come back clean, however we did have a scare back in May. I went to Mavromatis for an exam and she was worried about my previous scan so I had extra blood work done. It was a little worrisome at the time. She had noticed that where my tumor was, I still have residual tissues lighting up. Which we had known before from Dr Watkins, but she was worried that it wasn't normal and possibly growing back. She went into worst case scenarios with me, talking about more chemo treatments, stem cell transplants, and possibly getting a live in nanny. It was quite nerve wrecking. Because of COVID, Brendan was not allowed at my appointment with me, so when I got home we tried to wrap our heads around all of it. I was anointed, my family was alerted, and we prayed. The next morning I went in and got more blood work done and waited. And waited. And waited. I returned back the following week and was told everything came back in normal to expected range for being in remission. Nothing was elevated or projected to have returned. So turns out, I'm just a rare case -ha! We were told that my mass will most likely be there for the rest of my life at this point since it hasn't completely gone away, but the lit up areas are just clumps of inactive cells and scar tissue! Crisis averted. We opened a bottle of wine, cried (yet another time) out of joy, and thanked God for another blessing and merciful healing. I have another 4 years before I can be decared "cancer free" - I'm 1 of 5 years down! 
 
Since then, I've been pretty much back to normal. I'm back at work after being furloughed since March because of COVID and keeping our weekends busy with outdoor activities and seeing family. In the beginning of this whole pandemic, I was isolated from March to May, not seeing a single person other than Brendan. We were taking everything very seriously and it was hard to stay sane. But with my immune system and the uncertainty of what the virus actually was, we wanted to be safe rather than sorry. We enjoyed my time off, getting to do some projects around the house and spending time together. Both Brendan and I have been getting out and going for walks daily leaving our phones at home, taking the dogs with us, and it's been really nice to see God's creation with no distractions. We've kept this up as much as we can since going back to work and the weather heating up.
 
As for my last piece of information - I GET MY PORT OUT! I got my confirmation call last week! I will be going in on Friday the 17th at 10:30. So in 4 short days, my best friend and vein savior will be removed from my body. It's a little bittersweet, to be honest. The past 2 years, I have had countless blood draws, infusions, treatments, antibiotics, and contrast pumped through my little vein buddy. It will be weird to go back and get an IV in my arm again! Anyways. When my port was placed, the surgeon had issues sewing it into my muscle and inserting the catheter, so my recovery time took longer than expected. So I'm asking for my surgeon's guidance and that is easier to remove than it was to place. Fortunately we scheduled the surgery for Friday, so I have the Sabbath and Sunday to rest.
 
I don't have a whole lot more to update everyone on, which in retrospect is a good thing. I am doing well, feeling well, and keeping my spirits high. We've found sometimes it's hard to do that, especially with everything that is going on in the news today. Brendan and I have learned our best course of action is just to keep the news off our tv, and read it once a day through our email to learn the high priority things. It's saddening and scary to see what is going on all around us. So sometimes it is hard to see the joy and keep spirits high, but then we think back on everything that God has already done for us. We look back and think of all the joy God has already given us. All the blessings He has already given us. And to think that none of the current corruption and sufferings are worthy to be compared to the glory that He is going to restore and reveal to us - is incredible. So when we turn on the news, or read about the horrible things going on around, I just remember it's all in God's hands, and He has proved that to me over and over again. We are all in His hands and He has promised us healing, peace, and salvation.
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