I had an autologous stem cell transplant in March 2013. I was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgkins Lymphoma in June 2011 when I was 19. I had a lump in my neck that all of my doctors ignored. They told me I was over reacting but I pushed and eventually they did a biopsy and it was malignant. I did 3 rounds (12 weeks) of Stanford V chemo then 19 mediastinal radiation treatments. Finished in September 2011. I relapsed when I was 20/21 in December 2012. My 1 year post-treatment chest CT in November 2012 showed a new large node near my heart. (I got the biopsy results confirming it was cancer on 12/4 which was the day after my 21st bday) I managed to get in with a fertility specialist and had eggs frozen shortly after. I did 2 rounds of ICE chemotherapy while I was inpatient at Children’s Hospital Boston. During the time between chemo and stem cell collection I met Andrew at a show in Poughkeepsie and he was a great friend to have because he had already been through transplant and he was so happy and healthy. They had trouble collecting my stem cells but on the 3rd try with neupogen they got the 2 million cells they needed. I had BEAM chemo for 6 or 7 days then I received my stem cells. I was in the hospital for 21 days, then I went home but I was in isolation for 100 days.
I went back to school in the spring of 2014 and I’ll be done with my associates degree by the end of December. I’m applying to transfer to a 4 year school to major in government/political science and I have an internship with a U.S. Congressman in the Spring. I’m interested in healthcare legislation and being an advocate for the young adult cancer community.