In April, 2011, I noticed a strange lump on my collarbone.
I had no other symptoms, and I felt completely irrational walking into the urgent care center and asking “How long until you can rule out cancer as a diagnosis?”
It was my first experience with patient advocacy (aka sticking up for myself), and it quite possibly saved my life. After what seemed like a million tests later, I was diagnosed with stage 3 follicular lymphoma.
When I first met with an Oncologist, I had no idea what lymphoma was. The nurse handed me a mountain of cancer patient paperwork and a small booklet from LLS that explained the disease, treatment options and what tests I would need. There were resources and information in that booklet that I could share with my friends and family when they asked questions that I was not able to answer.
I heard about Light the Night in August, 2011, and registered to walk.
I invited my friends and family to join me, fully expecting to walk alone while they cheered me on from the sidelines. To my surprise, 17 of my friends and family walked by my side through the pouring rain. Together in just three weeks, Team Adrienne raised over $2700. In 2012, our goal is to raise over $10,000.
In November, 2011, I completed eight rounds of intravenous chemotherapy, and will undergo maintenance infusions for the next two years, but my journey is far from over. Follicular lymphoma is not curable. It’s not a matter of if my cancer will come back – it’s when. My goal is to live long enough for researchers to find a cure. So they’d better hurry up.
I am committed to making 2012 the year I give back- Because I can.