United States

On August 28, 2017 I was driving back to the office when I got a phone call from kaiser. I was being notified I had Lymphoma. I would later find out I had large B cell stage 4 Lymphoma. I remember hearing the doctor on the other end of the phone saying chemo and oncology and after that I couldn’t hear anything else. The news was devastating. I parked my car and cried. I felt paralyzed. I called work to let them know I would be in shortly but at the moment I couldn’t drive. Then I called my daughter Joline to break the news to her. The rest of the day was one big blur. I was already feeling pretty crappy.

Three months prior to my diagnoses I had began feeling really sick. I was fatigued and constantly short of breath. I had no idea how much worse I would get before I started feeling better. At my worst I thought I was dying. I couldn’t walk. I didn’t want to eat. The pain throughout my entire body became so intense that I felt like giving up. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to recover from this.

I was in and out of kaiser weekly. One appt after another. My oncologist informed me that I had about a dozen tumors growing inside of me. One had attached itself to my liver. So much had to be done and quickly. There was a bone marrow biopsy, surgery to remove one tumor, surgery to have a chemo port put in, pt scans and ct scans, six, six hour chemos every three weeks and constant blood work. On top of that I lost my hair. Every time my phone rang it was Kaiser calling. I was so scared.

My son Hunter had a son on the day way and I needed to meet him. No way was I ready to die. My new grandson was born on Nov 14, 2017. Four days later, Nov 18, 2017, less than three months after being diagnosed I found out my Lymphoma was gone. My oncologist, Dr Soe, said it was a miracle. When I thanked her for saving my life she said it wasn’t her that saved me.

Everyday I remember how sick I was. And everyday I’m thankful to be alive. I’m also thankful to my family and friends that were with me every step of the way. I love you them all to the moon and back. I couldn’t have made it without them. My heart goes out to those of you that have lost loved ones because of cancer. Cancer has changed me forever in ways I couldn’t begin to explain. I’m not cured. I’m in remission. It came. We fought. I won. I am a survivor and I have a tattoo to prove it.

Healthcare professional & carer
Maria Fernanda
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Family, friend & supporter
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Healthcare professional & carer
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