Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Diagnosis - The Day The Bomb Dropped

The day you hear the words, "you have cancer" is a day you will never forget. This is never in your plans. This is what you never want or ask for. Especially at 37 years old, running a family with two young children, just getting your own business off the ground floor, and busy with life. For anyone who has been diagnosed with any type of cancer, the emotions, thoughts, fears and roller coaster ride are not ones you DO NOT want to be on. But you are here...now what...

On November 5, 2008, two days after having a swollen lymph node removed, I received the phone call with the final diagnosis - Hodgkins Lymphoma, a blood cancer. At this point I knew what my possibilities were after too much googling. I didn't want cancer, but if it was going to be any cancer this one had a lot of hope with treatment and remission. Many people came out of the woodwork. I already knew two people who had this type of cancer - so I had someone to talk to. After having a chance to digest this diagnosis I talked to anyone who could shed light on what to expect from chemo treatment.

One month later after many tests, meeting my new doctor and "temporary best friend" - my oncologist and confirming stage 2 of Hodgkins, I started my first chemo on December 4, 2008. I cannot describe the anxious feeling that sweeps through you when facing the unknown. I heard so many stories about other people and how their bodies handled chemo. Most stories were not very encouraging to say the least.

So here I am...preparing for my 4th chemo treatment this Friday. My body is handling it well with some side effects and my mind is doing better. Now I am working on my spirit. I am a faithful Christian woman. I have overcome a lot of things in my life and have turned to God for help and strength and turned away as well. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." Sometimes these sayings are hard to hear, but right now they are keeping me going and I am turning to God for answers and reasons. I know I will get through this and be a stronger person in the end.

When faced with difficult times, and we are all having them today with the economy, explaining to young children about cancer and not being able to do some of the enjoyable things we like to do can be hard. I have been raising my children in a church environment where they can learn and understand more about God and Jesus and what it means to be a Christian person. At age 9, my daughter Chloe has a lot of questions. The biggest question being "why would God do this to you Mommy?" (I answered that one very well. My pastor would be proud.) At age 5, my son Carson was sure I was going to die or if he kissed me he'd get cancer, too. My husband has taken the financial burdens on since I am only working my business part-time. "When one person in a family has cancer - everyone has cancer." This is so true. It has changed our current lives and our future. We take each day one-at-a-time and pray that all will be well in the end.


  1. I heard about you from Deanna at the Giving Circle. I was diagnosed w/ Hodgkin's in July 2003. I had the standard ABVD chemo. Fortunately for me, I didn't have children or a husband to worry about. You are doing a great job asking for help. Even things like groceries and cleaning could sometimes be done by others just so you could spend some quiet time w/ your hubby and/or kids.

  2. Thank you Elizabeth, fellow survivor, as you know - fun times:) Yes, next in favors is some time alone with hubby. We certainly need it. I'd love to find out if you did radiation. I'm still unsure about that part of treatment. Email me if you get the chance. Thank you.