In May 2014 after my freshman year of college I was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Hearing the words “you have cancer”, is one thing I never thought I would hear until that day came.
Six moths later, after a biopsy, two surgeries, and 12 rounds of chemotherapy I was told I was in remission. I went back to school and picked up my life where I left off. After a semester at school, right before my six month check up I got sick. I thought at first it was just a cold, but then fevers developed every four hours aong with a terrible cough. I didn’t think much of it and I went on medication hoping it would go away.
When I had my six month checkup, I went to get my PET scan results, and I heard those terrible words for the second time “you have cancer”. All I could think was I conquered this one time, I can do it again. I received four rounds of immunotherapy. Although the immunotherapy showed a 68% decrease in my tumors, it was not good enough, and I started an aggressive chemotherapy and told I was going to need a stem cell transplant. I had to begin the in-patient chemotherapy to prepare to extract my stem cells. I was lucky enough to receive my own stem cells back.
After three weeks in the hospital and two weeks living at an apartment right by the cancer center I was through the transplant and feeling great. In November 2016 I was finally in remission and good to go. Without the love and support of my family and friends and the nurses and doctors at the Hackensack University Medical Center I don’t think I would have been able to get through it the way I did.
Walking in the Light the Night Walk with the white lantern is a symbol to me that no body fights alone, it is amazing to stand there with all your loved ones and walk, knowing that you conquered this awful disease TOGETHER.