"You have Cancer" are the last words anyone wants to hear. We were approaching our two year wedding anniversary and focused on starting a family. We bought a beautiful home in Ridgefield, I had a successful career in commercial real estate, was married to a wonderful man, close with my family, and had an amazing group of friends. Life was wonderful! When my symptoms started, I never thought it was cancer. My initial diagnosis came July 2017 as Stage 3B Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkins Lymphoma. Few weeks later I learned I had a second cancer growing in my body; Large B Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I knew I had one job and that was to fight and get through the Chemotherapy that was strong enough to wipe out both cancers, cause me to drop 20 pounds and also take my hair.
When we moved to Ridgefield, I spoke to my husband about getting a dog. He agreed but thought we should wait a few months and settle into the house. Then suggested to wait until after the holidays followed by wait until after we had children. Well, once I was diagnosed, I turned to him and said " Now can we get a dog?!" the answer was yes... truthfully, he really had no say in the matter because I had already put the wheels in motion to get one. That was Jemma, an 8 week old Yorkshire Terrier.
My treatment called for 6 rounds of treatment. Each treatment was 3 Days. Day 1 was a full infusion & Days 2 & 3 were chemo pills to take at home. We got Jemma just a couple weeks before I started my chemotherapy. She was 2 pounds of fur and the sweetest little nugget. We were so excited to have her. She was a bright shiny star in our stormy dark sky. She kept us on our toes. Although I worked throughout my treatment, we were home a lot. So we were home with Jemma a lot.
From day 1 of this grueling journey, my husband was there right by my side every step of the way. Holding my hand and letting me know that everything was going to be ok. He sat patiently through all of my infusions reading his mens health magazines, he drove me to and from every single treatment and accompanied me to all of my follow up appointments and doctor visits. I don't know how I got so lucky but God blessed me with an amazing man.
In January 2019 at what should have been my one year remission scan, we found out there was a nodule growing on my lung. We watched it grow for a few months and after a few tests, needle bioposy and a Surgical procedure called a Wedge Resection on my lower right lobe of my lung, in July 2019 we learned it was the Hodgkins Lymphoma.... again. Since it was an isolated event, the surgery being a success meant I was again, cancer free. No chemo needed. I was relieved but it still sits with me but I've buried it pretty deep. I think we both have.
To say it's been a roller coaster is an understatement. It has truly broken us down and we've slowly picked up the pieces. We take each day as it comes and wake up trying to be the best we can be. Getting Jemma and having her apart of our little family was the best decision we could've made. She brightens our days and fills us with such love and companionship. I am so grateful for these two. I am also lucky to have the support of my family and friends. They checked in on us daily, brought us food, sent us thoughtful notes and gifts to let us know we were not alone. My mom helped me clean and cooked me soup for when I wasn't able to do so myself. Ann's Place has been there for me when I needed them the most. They provided me with a safe haven to feel heard and understood and to meet other people just like myself. I wish I could put into words just how much I appreciate all the people who have been there for us and I hope they know how grateful I am.
Today, I am the proud owner of Danielle Elizabeth Wig Studio and a fitness instructor at Pure Barre both located in Ridgefield , CT.