When my brother was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2015 at the age of 34, he was the first person in our family to have cancer. Since we had no family history of cancer, we were all shocked!
A year later, when I turned 34 and started to feel a lump in my throat, you would think his cancer would have entered my mind, but it didn’t because I had been reassured that Lymphoma wasn’t hereditary. After multiple trips to the doctor, misdiagnoses (like acid reflux), and imaging tests, a biopsy was done of a lymph node in my neck and it was confirmed that I, too, had stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
After 8 treatments of the chemo cocktail ABVD, a scan showed No Evidence of Disease and I became a “Survivor”. However, just a month after chemo ended, I started having breathing difficulties and was admitted to the hospital for more testing.
It was determined that I had Bleomycin Lung Toxicity, which is a potentially fatal side effect from one of the chemo drugs. I was put on steroids for 2 months and my lungs eventually healed themselves.
It took about 18 months for my body to recover from everything it had endured, but some things will never be the same.
Cancer doesn’t end when treatment ends. The trauma and scars from the past several years take time to heal and you can’t do it alone.
GRYT is having a lymph node removed the day before your 34th birthday, then being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 5 days later.
GRYT is continuing to work through chemotherapy AND plan the all-school dance for your child’s elementary school.
GRYT is continuing your exercise schedule 3 times a week during chemotherapy.
GRYT is completing chemo, being told you are in remission, only to be hospitalized a month later with Bleomycin Lung Toxicity.
GRYT is slowly recovering from the mental trauma of cancer with the support and love from your family and friends.
GRYT is starting a local social club for young cancer survivors in your region by putting up flyers in local businesses to find your people.
GRYT is continuing to educate people about and fight against the stigmas surrounding cancer patients.