Mantle Cell lymphoma (MCL)
As many people were afraid to go to the doctor I was propelled to have a colonoscopy due to the death of Chadwick Bozeman. That decision changed my life. In December 2020, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at age 44.
Here I was amid a pandemic, just celebrating Christmas and ringing in the New Year as a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Like many people diagnosed with cancer, my first thought was, “I’m going to die.”
I thought I’d die before seeing my daughter grow up. The mistake I made was to google my diagnosis instead of going to God! I called my family and enacted my contingency plan, told my brother where the life insurance policies were and how I wanted my daughter to be raised in my absence. I relied on what I thought I knew of cancer. The devastation and the pain! When I got up the next morning I asked myself what did everyone I had watched die of cancer do that I couldn’t afford to do? I realized they had all given up in their minds and their bodies followed! I refused to do that and started researching my diagnosis.
A friend told me to call LLS. When I called I spoke to a wonderful woman named Sharon C. I thank Sharon for talking me off the ledge and letting me know that I still had work to do in this world and most importantly that cancer is not a single story! I made a promise that when I finished treatment I would volunteer with LLS to help raise awareness about blood cancer and help other patients.
I started my cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering and after three rounds of chemotherapy, I was cancer-free. I have immunotherapy every two months. I now volunteer every chance I get to help LLS and my fellow cancer patients. Even though it’s rough being immune-compromised amid a pandemic, it’s a blessing to be here to see my daughter grow up and to help others.