Trying to Survive

On March 4th I was preparing for the Lymphoma Awareness subject for the month of  March.  I had spent time with many person trying to raise awareness and participation in Be The Match. Be The Match is a registry for persons to become donors for persons willing to donate Stem Cells to persons needing Stem Cell Transplants.  I began on my birthday and was assisted by many friends and family around the world to increase donors.

I went to the hospital to began the “mobilization” process (receive chemo therapy and began injections to boost your stem cells so that I could be my own donor.  In hours my life took a turn or the worst.  I had concern about growth of a particular group of nodes.  When I brought these concerns to my oncologist from December to February, I was falsely assured that the Clinical Drug Trial I was participating was working.  On March 4 I was told by the Bone Marrow Transplant doctor that my cancer was growing out of control.

My one day visit to prepare for my transplant became a 2 1/2 week stay.  I became very ill and unstable.  I have no memory of many events.  I received chemotherapy for 24 hours a day, steroids and antibiotics around the clock.  I did not realize how ill I was.

Surprisingly I was able to donate my own cells, however I will not know until after a PET scan if I will be in remission enough to receive the transplant.

Even after my diagnosis and participation in treatment, I can not over stress how important it is to be you own best advocate.  I still have a long road ahead if I am able to receive the transplant.  Even in the hospital I can to keep on to of my medical and medications.  The healthcare industry is a very SCARY place.

Please learn as much about your body as possible.  And if diagnosed with Lymphoma, saturate yourself with knowledge, options, and the best medical professions  and facilities.  I am Praying for a positive outcome.Image

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Peanut and Pumpkin’s Smile for Dora’s Lymphoma Smile Project!

Peanut and Pumpkin's Smile for Dora's Lymphoma Smile Project!

December is SMILE Awareness Month! Share a Smile, Share some knowledge about LYMPHOMA! Knowledge is Power!!!

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease that starts in our cells.  Our bodies are made up of million of cells, grouped together to form tissues and organs such as muscles and bones, the lungs and the liver.  Genes inside each cell order it to grow, work, reproduce and die.  Normally, our cells obey these orders and we remain healthy.

But sometimes the instructions in some cells get mixed up, causing them to behave abnormally.  These cells grow and divide uncontrollably.  After a while, groups of abnormal cells form lumps, or tumors.

Tumors can be either benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).  Benign tumor cells stay in ne place in the body and are not usually life-threatening.

Malignant tumors cells are able to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.  Cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body are called metastases.

The first sign that a malignant tumor has spread (metastasized) is often swelling of nearby lymph nodes, but cancer can spread to almost any part of the body.  It is important to find and treat malignant tumors as early as possible.  Cancers are named after the part o the body where they start.   For example Melanoma that starts in the skin but spreads to the liver is called Melanoma with liver metastases. (Melanoma: Understanding your diagnosis.  Canadian Cancer Society 2008)