SO THIS WAS CREATED BY THE WRONG LINK (STILL FOR THE SAME WONDERFUL CAUSE BUT IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE AND JOIN THE #LIGHTTHENIGHT FUNDRAISER, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE: https://pages.lls.org/ltn/md/Baltimor20/ElodiesLightTheNight
Elodie's Fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's #LightTheNight - Let's Do Something Good Now!
Long story short: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in October 2017 and went through several treatments and went through an autologous stem cell transplant almost a year ago. I'm currently in remission. It still feels surreal to type this. And I just want to find ways to make sure no one else has to go through those countless treatments. And if they do, that they have the support I had.
Financially. Emotionally. Physically.
And that more people become aware of blood cancers and the symptoms. And that a cure is found. And that people can gind the help they need.
Your donation will help. And you joining my team to raise money for LLS will help too.
Oh and another thing you can do? Register to be a donor for BeTheMatch.org. I'll be soon doing a virtual registration drive for them. But you don't need to wait to help save a life.
Long story long: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in October 2017 after months of feeling unwell, losing weight, having back pain. It all started with pain as I had a sip of wine back in November/December 2016. I thought back pain was just the way it was. I didn't excercise enough. I don't sit or stand straight enough. Fast-forward to a doctor's visit, a lot of physical therapy, another doctor's visit and then another. And well, the tumor I had in my chest was now protruding out of my chest wall. Fun times. When I had my biopsy, I couldn't lay down all the way because the surgeon was worried about me not being to breathe due to the mass. Which was about the size of half a gallon of milk. When we got the results of the biopsy, we were actually happy. Because Hodgkin's was a much better outcome in our mind than the other possibilities.
I was told and knew from research that I would have 6 months of chemo and then should be okay. After 2 months of chemo, we would do a PET scan and that PET scan would ideally be clear. Well, it wasn't. After 2 months of chemo every 2 weeks (4 different chemo each time), my PET scan wasn't clear.
I went for a 2nd and 3rd opinion (both gave me so much hope and I'm so grateful to them), and changed care. My current oncologist and his team make me feel like I'm an integral part of my care, and they gave me that hope I mentioned and I was able to start therapy as part of their comprehensive care which was oh so helpful. I changed chemo regimen. Did 6 more months of chemo. Had a clean scan through treatment and an iffy scan after. That iffy spot ended up being okay 3 months later (as my oncologist had said it would), but another spot showed up. So more watch-and-wait. And then another PET scan. And then a spleen biopsy. And then radiation. And then another PET scan. More watch-and-wait for another spot. And then another PET scan. And then another biopsy. Which didn't get enough tissue. So another biopsy, this time a mediastinoscopy. And then Hodgkin's was confirmed. So onward with immunotherapy for several months. Another PET scan. And then the decision to go through an autologous stem cell transplant.
Preparation for that, including placing of another catheter and then cell collection. And then time to go into the hospital. High-dose chemo for several days. And then my cells were given back to me. And then sepsis, high heart rate (in the 200s) where I needed to get a shot to reduce the heart-rate and there were a lot of people around my bed when that happened as they prepared the paddles to put on my chest...just in case. I could spend more than 300 words on that particular experience. ;-)
And then I got better. Still couldn't eat much or taste but slowly got better. And then I started immunotherapy maintenance treatment.
And then I got a clean scan. And then I finished maintenance treatment during Covid-19. My first treatment ever without my husband by my side as caregivers weren't allowed in the cancer center. And then another clean scan with something in my nose. And then another clean scan with still something in my nose but smaller. And then a nasal endoscopy, which was weird but very reassuring.
Oh and shingles.
And plenty of therapy sessions.
And quite a few tears.
And a lot of laughter.
Help me make a difference? Thank you!