Testimonials from 3 Cancer Survivors
Almost every month of the calendar year marks a cancer awareness month for various types of cancers. And this month of September (to name a few) is the Lymphoma, Leukemia, Prostate cancers awareness month. This month is all about getting the word out about these types of cancers so that people can know that with early detection and treatment, they can survive.
Here are 3 testimonials from survivors who have battled against these cancers and are celebrating life:
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At 49, Johnson had gone for his routine prostate specific antigen (PSA) which he had been doing for years. But this time around, the scores had jumped significantly. He was advised to retake the test after 3 months but even then the score had jumped even further. The doctor recommended a biopsy and the results showed that the tissue had tested positive for cancer.
Johnson was dreading surgery. Luckily, he saw a commercial Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and decided to contact them. The person he spoke with was so reassuring that they decided to visit the location in Chicago immediately. From the onset, the doctors were impressive. They explained the issues and considerations carefully, answered their questions and made him a part of the decision-making process.
Johnson's treatment began with hormone therapy, Lupron injection, and weeks later he began daily radiation. He then had another Lupron injection after. The main side effect was fatigue and hot flashes from the hormonal treatment.
CTCA was a healing environment for both body and soul. The people there strengthened and encouraged him. He always advises people to seek a second opinion at CTCA because as he puts it: "The care I received is beyond what I ever thought I would find."
His life is now back to normal and he works and enjoys spending time with his wife, Linda, who was his main caregiver, and their 3 grown children. Johnson still goes for follow-up visits at CTCA.
During Thanksgiving, 2011, Reeder couldn't even swallow a sip of water or turkey. That was the turning point in his fight against cancer. 5 years earlier, he had gone to hospital because of a spider bite. The doctor however kept on focusing on a swelling she noticed on his neck. Days later, he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The doctor wanted him to wait and watch how it progresses but Reeder didn't want to wait. All he wanted was to get better.
On Thanksgiving 2011, he saw a TV commercial for CTCA, got up from the table and made the call. He spoke to a woman who asked him if he wanted to speak with a patient who had a similar problem; which he did. After the conversation, he made the decision to seek treatment at CTCA.
The hospital impressed him. He was given a schedule for everything he needed to do for the next 5 days.
Early December, he had his first round of chemotherapy, a combination of 2 chemotherapy drugs over 2 days, followed by an injection to build his blood cells. The swelling in his neck went down. Much as he was feeling good, he felt pretty beat up from the treatment - especially his bones. That didn't last long though.
As part of therapy, he saw a naturopathic physician, a nutritionist and a physical therapist, had acupuncture and massage therapy and also took supplements, all of which helped with the healing process. They also felt part of the team at CTCA.
His wife, Linda, was his caregiver. She believes in one doing all the research they can about the disease. Today, his husband is doing wonderfully well, thanks to CTCA.
Mid October 2013, Maressa injured her spine and had to do an MRI which revealed a mass in her chest. The doctors talked to her about the possibility of cancer, something she didn't want to even think about. When she went to New York, it was determine that she had Hodgkin lymphoma. Four days later, she began treatment.
Maressa was scheduled for 5-6 chemotherapy sessions over 4-6 months which turned out to be physically and mentally grueling.
Initially all she cared about was whether lymphoma was a death sentence. However, she accepted the diagnosis and decided to do research on it. Drawing strength from her father living with a chronic disease, she started blogging about it, giving young women information on lymphoma.
New Year's Eve she learned that she was officially a cancer survivor! She is now working with the Lymphoma Research Foundation to raise awareness about Lymphoma and help eradicate it.
Cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, most people survive it and live life to the fullest. Lets celebrate life. Lets fight cancer.
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