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    Registered User tstruble22's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2015
    Location: Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, United States
    Age: 37
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    tstruble22 is offline

    My comeback from cancer! From survivor to THRIVER!!!

    On March 27, 2015 I was diagnosed with large b-cell non-hodgkin's lymphoma. I'll address some of the questions I am most often asked about my experiences and am certainly happy to answer questions anyone might have. This will also act as my log for accountability during my journey to show others that not only can you be a survivor, but also a thriver!(I may have made that word up lol)..... Cancer is NOT a death sentence.

    How I found out?
    I would say sometime in February of last year I woke up one morning and noticed I had developed a swollen lymph node underneath my right jawline. I brushed it off for a bit not thinking it was anything more than just my body fighting off a possible cold. After actually experiencing some exertion headaches during lifting sessions a couple of weeks apart I decided to visit my family doctor. He as well thought it was nothing serious, but decided to send me for an ultrasound of the location. These tests came back inconclusive and I was then send to an ENT. He performed an in office needle biopsy to get some samples and when the results came back is when I received the news.

    What stage was it?
    I honestly never asked and my oncologist never came right out and told me. I knew it was something that needed to be taken head on either way, so adding stress was the last thing I wanted.

    The Process: Above mentioned were the first couple of steps and then the following tests/procedures were performed.
    -A more in depth biopsy to determine the type of cancer
    -PET Scan
    -Endoscopy to make sure the cancer wasn't elsewhere
    -Bone Marrow Biopsy(very unpleasant)
    -Chemo port install
    -6 rounds of R-CHOP chemotherapy which totaled nearly 40 hours

    Before my last round of chemo my white blood count was very low, but my oncologist said we could proceed with treatments. A few days after that was definitely the worst I felt during the entire process, but I always say that it went about as good as you can ask for given the circumstances. I was able to keep my weight stable as they had asked me to do during treatments and actually added a few pounds(obviously noticeable in the before photos....YIKES!) The last treatments was on August 12, 2015 and around November 4-6 is when I had my follow-up PET scan and it was determined nothing was showing up metabolically active. I WAS IN THE CLEAR! :-D.........The port has been removed and now I go for my scans every 6 months to make sure things are still good to go.

    My Tips:
    #1: Stay Positive! Attitude is everything and being positive in a negative situation helps tremendously.
    #2: Support--My girlfriend was at every appointment with me and my friends/family/colleagues couldn't have been more positive and upbeat. They know the type of person I am and didn't treat me any different. It's good to know when people are confident in you.
    #3: Ask for help. This is not a battle anyone needs to go through alone and it's ok to ask. We all know someone close to us or have been through something like this ourselves. Build a support team and full steam ahead!

    Now it's time to put this past year behind me, grow from it, and become the best version of myself possible! HERE.......WE........GO!!!
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