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Yvette: Surviving Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

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Yvetter Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma

On the Diagnosis

We have been living in Uganda, Africa for as long as I can remember. After we returned from our annual visit to India in early 2013, a node on the left side of my neck started bothering me a bit too much. Years ago, I had a similar one removed from the right side; it was a benign fatty gland.

Alarmed that something similar is cropping up again, I visited my doctor. He was certain there was nothing to worry and prescribed some antibiotics. Given my hectic work schedule, I tried to follow the prescription as much as possible, however the node was growing.

I met an ENT specialist from India who was visiting my city and then another based locally who prescribed a different set of antibiotics. With those, the node started growing twofold in no time. I got operated and was diagnosed of Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

My world came crumbling down. I was not prepared for this, nobody can be. My husband and sons stood by me and we decided to move to India for my treatment.

Yvette Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Things were difficult. Each chemotherapy challenged my sense of positivity and faith. But I stood up each time. When I couldn’t stand on my own, my husband, kids and my sister held me. Their belief in my abilities filled me with a rejuvenated energy.

Life After Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

After a year of chemotherapy and maintenance program, I was able to kick it out of my system. It has been over 5 years now.

Yvette Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma

I believe it is okay to be selfish when it comes to health. If you have a system to follow for better health, do it. Do not compromise to please anyone. Listen to your body. The Almighty will look after the rest.

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Snigdha: Keeping the Faith Alive Post Leukemia

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Snigdha Leukemia

The Diagnosis

In the winter of 2014, while I was spending time with family in Bangalore, I noticed strange rashes on my legs and feet; blood clots in my mouth. I also had an acute pain in my back; walking was difficult. I sent pictures of the rashes to my father (in Hyderabad)l. He asked me to get a blood test done. The reports revealed I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Reports from the tests that followed confirmed the case. I was admitted in the hospital. My mother sat me down and revealed the diagnosis. I took it as it came; no tears, only a desire to defeat this monster.

It is easier said than done though. Battling leukemia and chemotherapy’s side effects can bring out the worst of the pain, but the best of the human spirit. The results after the first phase of chemotherapy showed that a bone marrow transplant was my only way out.

Snigdha Leukemia

Finding a Marrow Donor

Unfortunately, my sister was only half a match. My friends and family conducted drives, with the help of Datri, wherever they could in order to help me find a donor. Later, Datri suggested that all my cousins get tested. As luck would have it, my cousin brother, the one I am the closest to, turned out to be a 90% match!

With friends and family backing me and my cousin signing up immediately, I entered the next phase of my treatment. Battling isolation, pain and side effects post transplant is daunting. But I continued with something I did during the first phase of treatment, I turned to art. I made cards for co-patients and the healthcare staff that looked after me. With every drawing my focus grew and my anxiety died.

Life Now

Life today is as normal as it could be and my mother has played a key role. I owe so much to her. I just want to spread the light of happiness everywhere.

My appeal to everyone is to register as marrow donors so that no one has to die. Another is to really trust your doctors and to resist the temptation to forward fake messages on cancer cure via WhatsApp. We need to expose ourselves to the right information because cancer won’t cure itself. What is alarming is the blind belief most of us have that it will.

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