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Inspirational Stories


Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)

In 2013, I heard the words that no one wants to hear, "You have cancer." I was 37 years old, healthy, and an active mom of two. After being sick and misdiagnosed for six months, I finally got some answers: stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), and I started chemo immediately.

Your mind goes to places that you are never prepared for. Two young children that depended on you . . . all the what ifs, what will happen ifs . . .

Sixteen rounds of chemo for the next seven months took me out of commission. I went on medical leave from work and relied on family and friends for meals, help with the kids, house, etc. My ex-husband became the main caregiver to our kids.

I had two choices: One, I could stay in bed and feel sorry for myself and cry all day, or two, I could tell cancer where to go and beat it. After a month of living the first choice, I decided that option two would be better. My kids taught me that I needed to be strong for them.

Each week after that decision I got stronger. I asked the doctor to slowly wean me off the pain medications and asked permission to start working out again. Hesitant, the doctor said to just walk. Moving my body helped my chemo symptoms better than the meds. I was thinking much clearer and able to focus on my kids.

After five months of chemo, I returned to work and finished out my chemo working full time, taking time if I needed it to recoup after chemo. I rang the bell off the wall three months later and ran a 10-mile race 40 days after my last chemo!

I want my story to inspire other young woman going through their cancer journey. I started running marathons, doing triathlons, and living my life to the fullest. Ten years later, I am healthy and strong. I know what it is like to go through something that can be a death sentence and instead told cancer, "Not today!!!"

Young woman, long brown hair, white tank top Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)