“We were so sure that it was nothing serious that my wife waited in the car while I went into the appointment. So, I was by myself when the news was delivered.”
“I struggled to find my way to the exit where I met my wife. I burst into tears and could not finish the simple sentence ‘I have cancer.’ After a few attempts, I was able to mutter the word cancer.”
As an extremely fit and healthy 53-year-old who completed ultramarathons, triathlons, two bodybuilding shows, and could do 200 pull-ups in an hour, I was shocked. How could this happen to someone so fit with no health issues?
I don’t remember the drive home.
The very next day Sue was scheduled to have knee surgery. We relied on each other for support.
Thankfully, Lymphoma Canada was there to help patients like me navigate our cancer journey from diagnosis through to treatment and remission. They provide resources, such as Canadian specific information and ways to cope with lymphoma and COVID-19 related anxieties. I was able to find hope when reading survivor stories on their website, which helped me get through the tough days of treatment. Just knowing that others have done it, meant that I could do it too.
Today, I ask that you support Lymphoma Canada by making a donation toward lymphoma research and vital resources for newly diagnosed patients across Canada.
Between my diagnosis and the start of my therapy, it was a race to complete all the required tests as quickly as possible. If it wasn’t the holiday season, I probably would have started treatment earlier.
On January 2, 2020, I received a complete diagnosis of stage 4, multicellular Hodgkin Lymphoma with ‘B-symptoms’.
On January 9, 2020, I had my first infusion of ABVD – a type of chemotherapy that I would receive for the next six months.
By February, after watching international news about the rise of COVID-19, I began wearing a mask and a shield at treatments which earned me many strange looks. Soon after, all staff were wearing masks and shields.
As if cancer and chemo weren’t tough enough, I journeyed to each treatment during a pandemic and my wife stayed home as visitors were prohibited.
We had a neighbour help with our grocery shopping and had everything else delivered. We didn’t have any guests over for the entire time I was in treatment. Not even my son and his fiancé. It was very difficult.
I was immunocompromised and was worried that I wouldn’t stand a chance against COVID-19, a fear that further burdened cancer patients like me in the last year.
Lymphoma Canada has been at the forefront of advocating for the prioritization of vaccine access for immunocompromised patients and their caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consider a gift to help ensure that all Canadians have equal access to vital information during this uncertain time and that they will benefit from innovative research.