I will win this battle

lymphomaMy name is Nancy Ruiz I am a registered nurse and I have Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

It’s been a wild ride since the beginning of April 2012.

What I thought was a cyst in my right axilla, resulted in enormous multiple nodules suspicious for cancer.

I had multiple sonograms and lab work-up.

Sonograms always revealed the term “highly suggestive for malignancy”.

I was prescribed 3 weeks of intense antibiotic therapy, hoping that these abnormal nodules were related to a severe infectious process.

After 3 weeks, my doctor and the radiologist determined that finally I needed a PET scan to determine if there was a malignant process in my body.

On May 4, 2012 PET CT was done.

I remember looking at my primary care doctor in her eyes with my hands held in her’s asking me; “How do I explain this to a nurse?”

She continued; “Be kind to yourself. It’s a hard thing and not something you expected to have happened. You really need to rely on your family and friends.

Be honest with them about you’re feelings—they need to be honest, too.”

Well it turned out, that I had extensive malignant nodules throughout my body.

Final radiologist impression: Lymphoma!

After spending the first few days processing the bad news and shedding a river of tears, I found myself optimistic and ready for the battle.

Living with a serious disease like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not easy.

People with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or other types of cancer face many problems and challenges which I felt not at all ready to encounter…..

Thirty six years of professional nursing never prepared me to personally encounter my own cancer.

“Life is a Journey, not a Destination.”

I helped many patients with cancer and even administered chemotherapy. You never think it could happen to you.

But health professionals are not super-people and we are vulnerable to catastrophic diseases just like everybody else.

So how do I live life with this disease? Only time will tell. I have been on a roller coaster of emotions since day one.

The difficult part for me is the mental stress and physical exhaustion.

However, my approach is to try and live life one day at a time, not to get too stressed about little things, and enjoy life as much as I can with my family.

I am definitely more thankful and enjoy the little things life has to offer.

I continue always to praise and thank God for his healing process in my body, for my doctors, nurses, family and friends.

Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma has taught me one thing; that life is very fragile and should be cherished. Life is a Journey, not a Destination.

Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma cannot bully me.

I will win my battle……….

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