At age 38, I was a wife and mom of three active boys. I worked as a preschool teacher. My days were spent surrounded by children, even when I was not working. In the fall of 2018, I began feeling really tired and I was suffering from chronic back pain and abdominal pain. I also was losing a great deal of weight. Then one evening while stretching, I felt a large lump on the left side of my abdomen. I panicked and made an appointment with my primary care physician.
After bloodwork and scans, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins follicular lymphoma. It was an indolent lymphoma, meaning it was slow growing and treatable, however it was not curable. I was told that I had a unique case, and my lymphoma was behaving aggressively. The plan was to treat it aggressively. My treatment regimen was RCHOP. I took a leave from work to focus on my health. I felt completely supported and cared for by my family, friends and hematology team. I learned about LLS through my cancer center. I joined their chat groups and also reached out to their Peer-to-Peer program for extra support, which helped me fight through my battle with a positive attitude. I knew I had many supporters rooting by my side.
In May of 2019, I received the news that I had a great response to treatment and my lymphoma was not active. I am on surveillance and I see my oncologist every three to four months. I have returned to work part time and I am enjoying spending extra time with my husband, three sons and the two puppies we welcomed to celebrate my remission. I attend a support group through LLS at the local Gilda's club and continue to participate in their online chat groups as well. I have been so fortunate to attend Light The Night walks and continue to fundraise for LLS as much as I can. LLS has helped me tremendously during my battle and my survivorship.
Being diagnosed with cancer was the scariest thing that I ever been through. Even though my lymphoma is not active, I know there will be a time I might need further treatment. There have been so many advancements in my type of lymphoma which has given me hope for a brighter future. I believe if we all continue fighting and advocating, we will ultimately find a cure. I am doing well and living life to the fullest and want to thank everyone who was involved in this journey with me.