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    bratty1981 posted an update

    My Cancer Journey Begins…….
    It all started on Christmas eve of 2009 I enjoyed an spiral ham dinner and then that next morning Christmas day I was up at 3am throwing up all acidy fluids and had terrible heartburn. I had problems with heartburn quite often off and on but I ignored it. This time I said I had better not ignore the symptom because I had been having issues with my stomach bothering me as well. So I made a doctor’s appointment and I’m not sure of the exact date but she said let’s send you for an upper scope to see what’s going on. On the day of my upper scope I was very scared but all the nurses and doctors were absolutely wonderful and took good care of me. I found out that I did have GERD and it was time for the waiting game for the rest of the results. A few days later the doctor called and said that some of the tissue they took for biopsy was suspicious and we needed to do another upper scope as soon as possible. I was back to the operating room again and they collected more tissue in the third part of my duodenum. And it was back to the waiting game for the results again. So after a few days the doctor called and I had to see him in his office. He said well it is confirmed you do have cancer and I can’t answer any questions you will have to wait for a cancer doctor as I am only a general surgeon. I had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (follicular lymphoma) in the beginning to middle of February of 2010.I was starting to plan my death I thought I was going to die. When you hear the word cancer that’s what you think. I was scheduled to see Dr. Garrett at cancer care of Maine in brewer which is a great hospital by the way. I had several tests so they could come up with a treatment plan that would best fit me. I had CT Scans, PET scans, bone marrow test, thyroid biopsy, colonoscopy, another upper scope to put metal clips in my stomach for the cancer treatment. I had all those tests from the end of February to beginning of April and then I was off to Dana Farber Institute in Boston Massachusetts. I saw Dr Fisher there and was a great hospital and great people that I met there. I went there to get my foot in the door in case I didn’t respond to treatment back home and we could go there to receive the treatment that would be best for me. And also in Maine my kind of cancer wasn’t very much heard of in a 29 year old female but Dana Farber is a big hospital and sees many people and has heard of it many times. They did figure out with all my tests that came back that my cancer was stage 1AE meaning stage one beginning stage and A meaning no symptoms and E meaning it was located in one area and not spread to other spots. Dr Fisher decided that a three and half week course of radiation would be best for me. So it was to head back home to Maine and start getting this going. By the end of April I had my appts for the beginning of my radiation treatments but before they could do that I had to go in and have little dot tattoos put in three spots of my stomach so they could treat that one area instead of my whole body. After all that was done the end of April I was travelling back and forth to brewer every day of the week Monday thru Friday to receive my treatment. The first treatment I had was a nightmare, shortly after I left the hospital I started throwing up every 10 mins on the way home I could not keep anything in was not a pleasant day. I threw up so much I popped blood vessels in my face and had dots all over my face. I was absolutely ill and was horrible feeling. I had been on meds for nausea and had reactions to that and now I found out I’m allergic to it and can never take it again. My mother and father took turns taking me back and forth. I’m so glad to have had them to help me through it all. I was sick almost every treatment I went to and all I could eat was baby food I had to eat that for some nutrition I couldn’t tolerate anything else. After a few days I was able to get the nutrition drinks to keep me somewhat healthy. I lost 5 pounds in less than a week. All I wanted to do is sleep I was so worn out and exhausted. And I have three children that were part of this whole journey with me as well. My oldest one didn’t even stay home with me through most of this I couldn’t have him seeing me so sick. The kids were devastated thought they were losing their mom. End of May of 2010 I completed my radiation treatment and I was never so happy. In august I went in to have another scope done and I found out that I was cancer free. YAY. Today it is April 6th of 2013 and I can proudly say I am still cancer free and I’m almost to my three year mark. I am a survivor and I will never give up.