Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after 3 years of being misdiagnosed
By: Jessica DeCristofaro (USA)
Cancer is a scary word. It’s a word that you’ll never really understand until it happens to you. You never think it will happen to you though, until it does. In 2016, I was diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin’s lymphoma after 3 years of going misdiagnosed. I was forced to enter into a world that I no longer recognized. It’s crazy looking back, because I had all of the symptoms of Lymphoma, but about 10 different doctors brushed it off as allergies and acid reflux. I had every single symptom. I was young. I looked healthy. Too young to ever have cancer. But looks are deceiving, and my looks deceived me until I went into respiratory failure and ended up in the emergency room right before my 29th birthday. Happy Birthday to me, right?
The first hospital that I ended up at couldn’t treat me because my cancer was too advanced and had metastasized to every organ in my body. By the grace of god, I was transferred to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. I started immediate chemotherapy in the ICU. I had 4 cycles of BEACOPP after being in complete remission after two. After the fourth cycle, my cancer came back. I had 20 immediate radiations to basically my entire body, and then two more cycles of BEACOPP. I am currently in remission as of August 18, 2016, after a grueling 7 months.
Miracles do happen, and I’m here to share that with the entire world. Sometimes when you think you’ve been buried, you’ve actually been planted. Throughout my journey, I created a blog/Instagram page to help raise awareness, document my journey, and help other cancer patients in the process. I found that the response from other fighters out there was so touching, that I wrote a book, titled “Talk Cancer to Me”, since there is no real guide book to cancer. I’m approaching my 5th year in remission which would statistically deem me “cured” of cancer, something that I never really thought was possible for me. I am currently in the process of finishing my second book, which talks all about life after cancer. I hope that sharing my story helps others fight through theirs.