In 2012, I was in a very toxic relationship with an addict. I was waiting tables and would come home with excruciating pain in my left shoulder. The arm I carried heavy trays with, so I thought nothing of it.
I came home one day and the man I lived with said he had something for my pain- it was Heroin. I knew it was wrong. I knew it was dangerous and addicting. But I was so desperate for pain relief that I snorted a line. I would spend the next two years chasing Heroin and lying to my Family.
I ended up losing my job, apartment and relationship- which was a blessing in disguise. My adult daughters gave me an ultimatum. I checked into a motel for a month and detoxed cold-turkey. It was horrific, but not as bad as what I was about to experience.
The pain I was masking was B CELL LYMPHOMA and I had been walking around with it for 2 years.
First misdiagnosed as a torn rotater cuff, I wore a sling for months as I waited for my insurance to approve an MRI. By that time, the tumor in my left scapula was around 6 inches in diameter. I looked like a football player. When I went to the oncologist for the first time he couldn't believe I made it there by bus. I had to be hospitalized immediately to prepare my body for aggressive Chemotherapy.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system so understanding the lymphatic system and cancer in general makes it easier to understand. In lymphoma, a tumour develops due to uncontrolled growth of abnormal lymphocytes. Because the lymphatic system exists throughout the body and involves many organs, there may be cancerous tumours in many parts of the body when someone has lymphoma.
The first 2 weeks was spent just getting my body strong enough for treatment. Then I would spend a week getting Chemo 24/7, go home for 2 weeks and come back and do it all over again. This went on for 6 months.
I lost my hair by the second treatment, so I chose to shave my head and rock the bald look.
Spinal taps, biopsies, blood transfusions, you name it. I honestly don't remember everything that was done. I tried to keep a journal but I was busy being Chemo's Bitch. I did, however, keep a photo of my Grandchildren next to my bed and I just knew I had to beat this. After everything I had been thru, put myself thru, I just wasn't giving up.
In 2015 I was declared in "Remission" but I was still very sick. I had to go to a Rehab Center just to learn to write my name again. My left arm is permanently disabled from my experience, I also have severe CHEMOBRAIN and may never work again. But, I just turned 51, I have 6 Beautiful Grandchildren and I'M ALIVE.
My advice is to listen to your body, if something doesn't feel right get it checked out immediately.
Thank you for reading my story.
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