Jen, United States

All stories
Photo on 2014-01-25 at 20.15 #4.jpg

Jen’s Peace & Love Recovery

I remember my diagnosis clearly. I was sitting in the UCSF doctor’s office in front of a physician whom I had been referred to by another.
I had first gone to a doctor on my Blue Cross Insurance list, a Russian woman who said the word “Lymphoma.” I was hoping the foreign word would continue to be foreign. She gave me a referral to UCSF on Fillmore Street in San Francisco close to where I was living at the time. They later sent me to the UCSF Medical Center and Hospital on the huge hill above the City with a view all the way to the SF Bay on the 5th Floor - the Hematology/Oncology department. It was here that this latest doctor I had been referred to examined me and said, “you will need tests”. When the results came back he patted my knee and said, “You do have Cancer”.
I had to fight to get to see this doctor, having been denied because of my cheap insurance. Fortunately I got into UCSF Medical Center through a friend of my brother’s, the physician who gave me the final referral to the Oncology doctor. Dr. L –. He personally saved me. Got me out of many troubles and gave me the best treatment possible. 
I also can’t forget my family who suffered greatly through the ordeal and who were by side throughout many, many, appointments, treatments, tests and the tense long wait to see if the cancer had subsided.
I will keep it short. But the first time was standard regime of chemotherapy over six months. Then a year off the treatments and the Cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a blood cancer came back with a vengeance even after being clear on scans a year before. I went through more chemo, which was not working, so was increased to high dose chemotherapy in the hospital, and almost no amount of immunity left. Radiation was done to the chest area with a specialized laser.
Finally, it was an autologous stem cell bone marrow transplant that was successful. They almost weren’t able to harvest enough of my own stem cell to do the treatment, but in the end had just enough to make it.
A long slow burn recovery followed. With disorientation to regular life and building stamina and strength slowly over time, I built up towards a full recovery. 
I did have one more medical issue a knee infection due to low immunity that required an operation affecting the patella but I did not contract the disease that was originally found, San Joaquin Valley Fever. Strange what happens when the body declines? In the end, I chose life.
The support of family and a ‘miracle-worker-physician’ was more than I can repay. My family were there for every decision and next step, caretaking and doing everything possible for a positive outcome. I enjoy such good vibrant health today (11 years later), I could not be more grateful. 
Thanks for listening; I wish every Cancer sufferer and survivor the best possible outcome and all the best things in this life.

Peace & Love, Jennifer Lingo