DJS's Journey:

Patient: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 8 years ago, Female, Age: 68, Stage III

  1. 1
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    almost 8 years ago
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    Hair is back

    Celebration

    My hair is making tentative reappearance! Even better than that -- my eyebrows are coming back better than ever. Many years ago, after watching one too many Jean Harlow/Myrna Loy movies on late night TV, my girlfriend and I tweezed our eyebrows to look like those 1930s lovelies. Our mothers were less than thrilled with our startling new look, and we were less than thrilled not long after when we saw that our eyebrows weren't growing back quite the way they had been before we discovered Million Dollar Movies. Well, now mine are coming back in all their former glory -- it looks like cancer was the only way to combat the patchiness an over-active, bored teenager brought on herself. Not a beauty remedy you're going to find in the magazines, but my girlfriend (yes, we're still friends) and I are having a good giggle over this. (And yes, we still love Harlow and Loy...but we leave our tweezers in the bathroom now and Walk Away.)

    8 Comments
  2. 2
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    almost 8 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    It took a while for me to wrap my head around it, but I guess the worst is actually over. I had my last chemo session on November 19th. I'm on to a new phase...apres-chemo anyone?

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    over 7 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    It's been two months since my last round of chemo, and I got the results from my PET/CT scan today. Complete remission! I keep playing those words around and around and around in my head...they sound pretty good! Maybe soon they'll sink in!!!

    5 Comments
  4. 4
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    over 7 years ago
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    Lost loved one

    Loss

    The friend that I went through cancer with died on Monday. We met at the clinic on my first day of chemo, which happen to be both our birthdays. Not long after I got a call from the head nurse at the clinic saying she was having a really rough time with hair loss, and since I was handling it so well (NOT!) would I come in and help her. We were meant to be BFFs -- we were inseparable. It was like being a teen again; constant phone calls, emails, giggling and adventures. We cheered each other on, pulled each other through -- I made it, but her cancer was far more complicated and it just wasn't in the cards, I guess, for her. I'll always share my birthday cakes with her, and as much as it hurts to let her go I have a ton of wonderful memories to treasure, and hopefully they will last me for a long, long lifetime. Not everything that comes with cancer is negative, and the friends I've made through this experience are Exhibit A.

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  5. 5
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    over 7 years ago
    DJS's Avatar

    Hair is back

    Celebration

    What they say is really true -- it does grow back! Very, very slowly for me. What felt like forever was worth it -- it's really short, but it actually does look pretty cool. Around the same time my eyebrows and top lashes filled in (finally) and my bottom lashes made an appearance at last. I'm actually wearing mascara again, and I'm pretty sure I won't be complaining about the price when I have to replace an empty tube from now on. I'll still be rocking my wigs because I really do love them, but it's nice not to have to run around looking for hair when the UPS guy rings our bell!

    4 Comments
  6. 6
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    over 7 years ago
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    Wow -- I Don't Have Cancer! Wow -- Now What?

    Decision Point

    I was with my husband for a doctor's appointment (his, not mine for a change!), and the doctor asked how I was doing since the kidney transplant. I was just about to answer well, I have cancer, when it hit me for the first time: I don't have cancer anymore. I'm cancer-free. A new-ish beginning...and now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the next part of my life. Cancer kind of protected me from confronting the future. My future is now here.

    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    about 7 years ago
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    Great Test Results!

    Celebration

    Got the results of my second set of PET/CT scans since chemo ended today. Everything is still completely clear! My husband and I hadn't discussed it, but we were both very worried. Not only do I not have a great record health-wise, but it was almost exactly two years ago that my cousin came out of remission with the same cancer (multiple myeloma) so of course he was on our minds. What a relief to have good news to tell my family…who was also, no doubt, thinking of my cousin. Anyhow…YEA!

    2 Comments
  8. 8
    • DJS
    • Experience with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
    about 7 years ago
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    Both of us are here to celebrate!

    Celebration

    A little over a year ago, when I had to have my first bone marrow test, I went downstairs to the clinic where I'd be getting chemo for the first time -- and looked right into the face of what I feared the most. There was a person, I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman, deadly pale, with the hardboiled egg look of a cancer patient. I just went numb…that was going to be me. Well, it actually wasn't, because I primped with wigs and makeup, but that person became my girlfriend -- cancer really brings gifts -- and today we're both cancer free. That's not the celebration, though. I'm meeting her in the park to meet her 8 week old French bulldog puppy (Mr. Miracle!)! When we were hooked up we would look at pictures of pups and say someday, when she can walk a dog again…and now she's well enough to take on a puppy! We're so excited! It's not the scans that make the healing real for me, it's the realizations of all the dreams we had to put on hold while we waited and hoped the chemo (and in her case, radiation) worked. It did. We're both all clear, and will be in the dog run to prove it!!! I can't wait to read about your chemo treatment dreams coming true, too! Post 'em!

    4 Comments