Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
Initially, I joked with my boss at work about the lymph node swelling in my neck and about taking another sick day off. I finally decided to see my primary care physician about it, who is typically very jovial. That day he wasn't joking much and referred me to a local ENT. Every test and scan from that first opinion pointed to a malignancy. I was in deep denial about being diagnosed with cancer, even after my second opinion at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston when the nurse asked if I wanted a snack. Motioning to the cart, I replied, "No those are for the cancer patients." She looked at me caringly while touching my arm and said, "You are a cancer patient." It wasn't until after my first chemotherapy when the swelling began to subside that I knew for certain that the treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) was effective for me. I had cancer at age 31. I was diagnosed on November 12, 2013, and endured 12 infusions of ABVD chemo every other Thursday until May 2014. I've been in remission since. In 2018, I began helping my friend Todd Zavorskas fundraise for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) at Comicon events, and I continue to collect donations at my event appearances. We plan to surpass the $250,000 mark this year for funds raised.