One day in September of 2009, my husband took a trip to urgent care for a cold that he couldn’t shake. After checking him out, the nurse’s hand was on the doorknob to leave when he asked if she could feel a lump that had been bothering him. She immediately sent him to our family doctor to get it checked out.
Eight days later, at age 26, my husband had a diagnosis. He had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He immediately began a long procession of medical procedures and tests including biopsies, scans, port placement and chemotherapy. It was a complete whirlwind, and if we’re being honest, we’ve both blocked a lot of those months out of our minds. Going from a normal married life to that of a cancer patient and caretaker was more than I can still comprehend.
Today, my husband is cancer-free and we have a great life with a wonderful 3-year-old son. My husband still sees his oncologist annually for monitoring.
My husband’s battle with cancer was incredibly frightening and sometimes I can’t believe that it even happened. What I will never forget, though, is the support of friends and family as well as that of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
LLS exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. They are the voice for all blood cancer patients and work to ensure access to treatments. Additionally, they focus on finding cures, since there are no means of preventing or early screening for most blood cancers.
The LLS drives research in areas of unmet medical need, and helps to bridge the gap between academic discovery and drug development. LLS identifies and funds the most promising blood cancer research projects and forges partnerships with academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of new therapies.
They are also the leading source of free, highly specialized blood cancer information, education and support for patients, survivors, families and healthcare professionals.
We of course benefited from the work of the LLS and received a great deal of helpful information and support. Additionally, their Light the Night Walk became a therapeutic event for me as we navigated our lives post-cancer. We give annually, and I hope that you will consider it, too!
The LLS offers these upcoming events which all benefit their mission:
- Students of the Year, January 5-February 24
- Race To Anyplace, Saturday, March 18 at Mason Community Center, www.lls.org/pages/soh/race17
- Man & Woman of the Year, March 23-June 2, 2017, www.mwoy.org/cincy
Though my husband’s battle is over, we support the LLS for so many others (including the young child of family friends who was diagnosed with leukemia). The LLS’s fight for research and healthcare access means no blood cancer patient is ever fighting alone.