Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A life turned sideways

Before I was diagnosed, I lived a pretty normal life. But let me take you back a bit farther.

When I was a child and throughout my teen-age years I felt like I was shut off. Closed off from the world. I honestly was depressed and felt so alone. I was angry towards others and didn't care who saw it. I had a limited amount of friends because I didn't know how to show happiness. This feeling lasted well into my twenties, until I was 22.
I met Ricky in 2007. He was totally different from other people I had dated. But in every way we were great for each other. We began seeing each other and quickly moved in together. We even moved to another state! We barely knew each other but if felt as though I had known him for years. Our relationship was totally normal. Bickering and fights did occur, but we always managed to speak with each other about our differences in a healthy way. Two years into our life together I became pregnant. I thought I had a nasty bug that was going around but doctors told me, 'Ugh, your really pregnant!' I was shocked but ecstatic! I have always wanted to be a mom. And waited for the day to come to hear those words. I was on cloud nine. When we went to our appointment to hear the babies heart beat for the first time, we were joking with the nurses and having so much fun. The nurse casually asked us to wait for a moment so that she could get another doctor to look at the sonogram. My heart sank. I immediately started to cry because I knew what had just happened. Doctors could not find a heart beat.
I was crushed. It took me a very long time to understand why, and come to terms with it. It just didn't seem fair. I now realize everything happens for a reason!
On September 11th 2011, another crazy thing happened in my life! Ricky asked me to marry him. I was the happiest person on earth. I was shocked at the same time because I never thought it would happen lol!!
We planned on getting married on November 12th of that same year. Literally, a month after the engagement and a month before the wedding I was diagnosed with cancer. We put off the wedding due to insurance reasons. Hopefully one day we will have everything come together as planned. But that's the crazy thing about life, you never know whats going to happen!!


I just have to share how amazing my life is right now, despite fighting cancer. I have a whole team of people that support me and are standing by my side! People definitely come together in a time of need!
A lot of my friends have been sharing my new blog and my fundraiser that I am having soon! Also I had help setting up a donation site for my lymphoma fund! Thank you everyone!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Process

After being diagnosed, I almost immediately started treatment. I received a type of Chemotherapy known as ABVD, an acronym standing for a whole bunch of crazy drugs! I had 12 rounds which lasted about six months. Every time I had treatment it got harder. The taste was the worst!! Not being able to eat was literally  torture. But somehow, with a lot of patience and trying to have a positive attitude, I made it through! The last treatment was bittersweet. I was so happy to be done with Chemo, but scared of the unknown after. At the end of these treatments I had a scan. The scan came back positive still for cancer. I was shocked because I thought I was done for good! I mean it was the end of April 2012, I had summer to look forward to and plans that were emerging. But now life was turned upside down again.

I have waited almost 4 months now and finally have a new treatment plan and goal. It's going to be one crazy ride! And this is why I am creating this blog, so I can share with whoever reads this! Feel free to comment on anything, good or bad.

What's Lymphoma?!

When I felt a lump on the right side of my neck, I didn't think much of it. Numerous people told me I probably was just swollen from a cold I had previously or maybe I even had a slight thyroid problem. I let it go and tried to forget about it, but the lump didn't go away, in fact it got larger. 
After biting the bullet and getting over my procrastination, I saw a local family practitioner, who sent me to have an ultra sound of my neck, but got no real answers there.
Three months later on October 2nd, 2011, I was suffering from a high fever, and by this time the lump in my neck was pressing so hard on my throat that I could barely breathe. Still not thinking the worse, I assumed I had pneumonia. After consulting my fiance we decided that I would go to the hospital.
There at the hospital they gave me the run-around. 'Yes you have a fever, but no pneumonia, maybe you just need to rest?' Like they thought I knew what was going on? Four hours later just laying there in the hospital bed, and the doctors just wanting to send me home, I put my foot down and proclaimed, 'There has to be something wrong with me, why do I have this lump and why cant I breathe?!!'
Soon after that they gave me a chest x-ray. I watched as the doctors face went blank as they stared at the image from across the room.

'Cierra, have you heard of Lymphoma?'
'No, What is that? Is that what you get when you smoke? I have never smoked!'
'No, that's not what this is. Maybe you should do some research on it."

With this vague answer, (and thank god for smart phones!), It was determined and backed up with a CT scan that I had Lymphoma, A type of blood cancer which attacks your lymphatic system. Going from thinking I had pneumonia to Cancer was extremely shocking and seemed unreal.The next week they took a biopsy of the mass in my neck which was sent to UCSF medical center and declared Hodgkins Lymphoma. Because I had masses in my neck and a large mass which consumed 3/4 of my chest internally and classic symptoms such as night sweats, fever, and a rash, I was stage 2B. Then, the fun began!


This is my first time as a Blogger! I am excited and nervous to share with you what is going on in my life, something that is extremely difficult yet rewarding in a way, which is fighting cancer!