Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor: MD Anderson saved my life three times

Statistically speaking, I shouldn’t be alive today. Since being diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 27, I’ve suffered two relapses. I’ve also had two stem cell transplants, 33 bone marrow biopsies, 186 CT scans and countless rounds of chemotherapy. You might think I wouldn’t enjoy a very good quality of life because of all that. But you’d be wrong. I’m an active, energetic, healthy 41-year-old. I’m also a wife and the mother of two beautiful children, ages 11 and 9. I do have some side effects from my cancer treatment, such as fatigue and recurrent sinus infections. But overall, my life today is full and happy. And I have MD Anderson to thank for it. My first non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis At the time of my first cancer diagnosis, I was in the best shape of my life. It was November 2004, and just a few months prior, I’d run my fastest marathon yet in San Diego. I was also in the process of training to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Then, while getting the necessary vaccinations and bloodwork done for my upcoming trip to Africa, I discovered that my platelets were at a life-threateningly low level. Within 18 hours, I was diagnosed with stage IV follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And all my plans changed. My non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment As a native Texan who grew up in San Antonio, I knew about MD Anderson’s amazing reputation. So there was never really a discussion as to where I’d go for my lymphoma treatment. My doctors there started me on chemotherapy right away, as my cancer was very aggressive...