My journey started in March of 2015. I had been having some pain in my left collarbone area and my back. I chalked it up to stress and ignored it for awhile, but by March I decided to see a doctor. My doctor noticed that my left jugular vein was extremely distended and sent me for further testing- an x-ray, ultrasound and CT scan. The results of my scan came back and showed a chest full of enlarged lymph nodes. My doctor started throwing out words like "biopsy" and "oncologist." Two months later, I was offically diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Less than a week after my initial diagnosis, I was starting chemotherapy. I went through 12 rounds of chemo over a six-month period and then recieved great news from my final PET scan-there was no evidence of cancer! I chose to do radiation therapy in addition to the chemo to reduce my chances for relapse. In January of 2016, I was completely done with treatments and in remission.
I was so excited to resume life as normal, but the truth is, after cancer life is never "normal" again. I was adjusting to my new normal and things were going well. I had started running and completed my first half marathon in October 2016. In January of 2017, I went in for my one-year check up and a routine PET scan. I was shocked when the results of the scan showed lesions all through my chest. A biopsy confirmed that I had relapsed and I was about to battle Hodgkin's lymphoma for a second time.
I am in the middle of the second fight with cancer and preparing for a stem cell transplant. I am so thankful for LLS and all the work they do to raise awareness and funding for blood cancer research. Because of the effects of LLS, my community, and most importantly, my God, I know that I am not fighting alone.
For updates on Ashley's story, please visit to http://hooversunexpectedjourney.com/ and hear from Ashley herself!