Hi, my name is Cindy Townsend and I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Hodgkin Lymphoma in January of 2018. I was not aware that Lymphoma was a Blood Cancer. The only Blood Cancer I knew was Leukemia so I did my research on Lymphoma and learned about the symptoms and the disease.
I have learned that the common symptom of Hodgkin Lymphoma is a painless swelling in the neck, under the arms or in the groin. These swelling is caused by an enlarged lymph nodes.
These are other symptoms may include: . Excessive Sweating, particularly at night; unexplained Fever; Persistent Fatigue; Unintentional Weight Loss; Persistent Rash or Itching; Unexplained Cough and Chest Pain; and Shortness of Breath.
I had more than 5 symptoms and was not aware that it could have been Cancer until I had severe Chest Pain and went to the ER where they preformed a CT scan and noticed something in the middle of my chest and was unaware what it might be. I had made an appointment to see a specialist and ordered me a PET Scan. The PET Scan showed lighted areas in my neck and chest and the Dr. scheduled me for a needle biopsy in the neck. The needle biopsy was unsuccessful so I needed surgery to remove part of the Lymph Node from my neck. It was confirmed that I had Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma.
I was shocked, angry, scared and so was my family, friends, but I am a fighter and I am going to fight this battle!
A Thorough Plan:
After the confirmation of my diagnosis, I was referred to a hematologist and Oncologist where I had received chemotherapy every other week for 6 months, you are also prescribed medication you need to take daily, antiviral, antifugal, antibiotics and anti anxiety.
During my 2nd Chemo treatment, I had experience calf pain and shortness of breath. I had a blood clot that traveled to my lungs which was a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) and was given blood thinner injections twice in my abdomen a day for 6 months, I have learned that not only Cancer patients are at high risk of blood clots but also receiving chemo as well; however, the main side effect I had was hair loss, low blood pressure, a high heart rate, nausea, no appetite, and having a metal taste in your mouth, but medication helped for some relief but I struggled week after week with the side effects thinking to myself, "I have to keep fighting for my family" It was the toughest thing I had to go through.
During my treaments, the Oncologist mentioned, "Chemo treatments can lower your white blood cells, to fight infection so stay away from people who are sick, don't eat in restaurants, go shopping, or be in crowd's, stay home, but if you do go out wear a mask" and wash your hands frequently. I decided to stay with my Mom and not to be at home with my family as there is a higher risk of infection to be spread. I decided to stay with my Mom for 6 months. My Mom saw me cry, struggle and overcome my fears; she cooked for me and helped me every step of the way, my brother would come and take my blood pressure daily and was the one who finally shaved my head. My family saw me everyday and a couple of friends periodically during my treatments but always wore a mask.
It was a true blessing to have my Mom, Brother, my kids and my family around me that cared for me so much!! I could not have gone through this without them!
When my treatment ended, I was in remission and I will be scheduled for blood work every 3 months and a CT Scan every 6 months.
This experience was the biggest hurdle I had to face and had changed how I approach the challenges of life. There are days when you want to give up, and in those moments we pray for strength, hope, and the will to never give up! I always encourage others to do the same, in whatever way works best for them.
I want people to be aware of the symptoms and know about lymphoma/Cancer and raise money to find a cure for this horrible disease!!
I AM CHALLENGING YOU TO DONATE AND TO HELP FIND A CURE FOR CANCER!
I am having a Cancer Benefit and the money we raise from this benefit will ALL be going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help find a cure!
This wonderful event is being held at the American Legion in Epping, NH and starts at 6:30pm. Tickets will be $25 per person or $45 per couple. There will be lots of raffles, silent auction, games, food and music.
There is no better way to spend your Saturday night, having fun and donating to a great cause.