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Inspirational Stories


HL Patient

My journey started in 2002 with a lump in my right arm pit. After a year of testing, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. I was 30 at the time. After 18 months of treatment, including radiation and 15 rounds of chemo, I was cleared in 2005 after two pet scans. In September of 2012, things changed. I was working part-time for a medical transport company and took a patient to my doctors’ office. The nurse asked me why I didn’t come back; so, I made an appointment for February 2013. The blood work looked great so they scheduled a cat scan and it showed enlarged nodes. The insurance company wouldn’t allow a pet scan so we waited until October and finally received one. I lit up like a Christmas tree. I had nodes in my abdomen and lower pelvic area. The spring of 2014, I had 4 treatments of Rituxan and after another pet scan, all looked great. I was told to follow-up yearly and in January of this year went for blood work. The blood work showed that my red cell count and platelets were high. Currently, I have nodes from neck to pelvic area some are three times the size compared to those in 2014. I am currently taking Rituxan and Treanda for six months. The side effects are hard to deal with some days but I have been lucky to take the medication on my four day break from the firehouse. I will hopefully receive a stem cell transplant in September. It’s hard to understand cancer and its’ side effects unless they have walked in our shoes. God bless all of those who are raising awareness and funding the fight against cancer.