stage IVB Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
I'm officially nine months in remission and just celebrated my first birthday (27!) since finishing chemotherapy treatment. In January 2022, I was diagnosed with stage IVB Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) after taking almost nine months to officially be diagnosed. Unfortunately, delayed diagnoses are often the frustrating truth for many adolescent and young adult cancer patients. However, during those nine months, I learned invaluable lessons on how to advocate for myself and persevere until I had answers. I underwent 12 treatments of chemotherapy for six months which resulted in me having to step back from my job I love and isolate from friends and family due to my compromised immune system. However, I was lucky to have had a cancer that's not only treatable but also curable. I am eternally grateful for organizations like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) that are leading the fight against blood cancer. In the last six years, LLS helped advance three of every four blood cancer treatments approved by the FDA, which is incredible. I'm also proud to have personally participated in a clinical trial, working to aid in the understanding of treatment for advanced-stage classical HL. When I was declared NED in August 2022, I vowed to share my story, support organizations like LLS, advocate for patient support programs ― including those for survivors ― and work to advance health equity to ensure every patient gets the care they deserve. Today, while I still face residual challenges from chemo ― anxiety, brain fog, neuropathy, and self-image issues ― I am a survivor, and I am grateful to be here. Today I am prioritizing my friends and family, saying "yes" to opportunities for adventure, back to work full-time, and finding joy in each and every day. I would encourage everyone to always be their best advocate, especially when it comes to health. And if possible, join me in supporting LLS, whether donating, sharing stories, or volunteering. Together we can help to end blood cancer.