Plasma cell leukemia (PCL)
Haymarket, VA United States
In November 2019, Trisha and her husband were thrilled to have given birth to her second daughter. At this time, she went to visit her OBGYN for her 6-Week Postpartum Exam, and to her surprise, her doctor noticed she had an enlarged spleen and liver. She was immediately instructed to go to the emergency room, where she was admitted for one week. After a bone marrow biopsy, Trisha was diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia (PCL).
Three days later, I went to another follow-up with my oncologist. She told me I needed to go to the hospital to start very heavy chemo called VD-PACE, and I'd be admitted for about three weeks. So my husband and I went to my hairdresser, and I cut my very long hair to my shoulders since this was supposed to make me lose my hair. I said goodbye to my babies (one three-year-old and a nine-week-old) and went to the hospital with my husband."
As a mother, this was incredibly challenging since she had to stop breastfeeding her newborn baby. This was not only physically painful but emotional as well. After missing Thanksgiving dinner, she was thankful to feel a sense of normalcy when she got to spend Christmas at home with her family. In the new year of 2020, Trisha received more unfortunate news; her cancer treatments were not working.
"I had already been to Johns Hopkins Medicine to schedule my stem cell transplant in May. The transplant is what we've been striving for (since this is rare cancer with limited treatment options). So we switched to another type of treatment, and I thank the Lord it worked. I got my transplant in August 2020 to an unrelated donor through Be The Match.
Since being in remission, Trisha's heart leads her to be a part of Team In Training and LLS Light The Night! She also just finished her FIRST Walt Disney Marathon with TEAM IN TRAINING raising over $6500.
She says "This was my first marathon ever AND I am a cancer survivor. I refuse to let this stop doing what I used to love (running). My husband and two young daughters were there cheering me on at the finish line and it was so emotional." She also is going to be a part of the patient outreach program to help others going through blood cancer.