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“My thought, Believe, and listen to your body.”

I was diagnosed with l breast cancer in 1991. I had a mastectomy, reconstruction, and nine months of chemo. I was so sick. Then almost 25 years later, the exhaustion hit again. I thought it was because I was working 40+ hours a week, most days on my feet the whole day running patients. A few days a week, when I was done, I would drive half an hour to a nursing home to spend time with my mom. If she wanted to go to somewhere like the store, I had to haul a wheelchair with me, but I would take her anyways. I would be home at 10 pm, wake back up at 5 am, and start over. In April my mom passed away. A week after that, hell started for me.

I was getting weird sores, one of which opened my incision from 25 years ago. I went to a dermatologist, who sent me to a rheumatologist and bounced. I finally said I’m going to an oncologist. I did. The minute he asked what chemo I had had prior, he said we need labs today. A week later my office manager and I went for results. The oncologist said, “right now we think you have leukemia, but I want a bone marrow biopsy, because, some labs don’t add up.” So, the next week I had a CT and biopsy done. 

The next week I found out I had mantle cell lymphoma and was admitted to the hospital the next morning. I got a port and started a week of intense chemo. Every 3 weeks for 7 months I did this. I lost my job in the midst. I was so fatigued I didn’t care. Finally, I was in remission, oncology kept saying, you’re cured...

A year and a half later I got bronchitis and my asthma was horrible. I went to my pulmonary doc and they finally did a bronchoscope to find my mantle cell was back in my lungs. Then after a pet scan, they found the mantel cell lymphoma all throughout my chest. Given my age, etc., I am on 2 chemo pills and I am going for a pet scan next month.

 Thank goodness I work in the medical field. I knew something was wrong but never thought I had a rare, disease that you don’t survive from, and it was caused by my breast cancer, and chemo.

My thought, Believe, and listen to your body.