Hi, Helen here.
It’s very interesting as to how I got to this point but here goes. As many of you know and for those of you who don’t know, I’m going to be a bit transparent with my life as I no longer want to feel like I’m hiding something. Let’s go back to 2015 where it all started. I was a caregiver during that time for a year or so. For some odd reason I was in excruciating pain so I thought all of this was normal and that it didn’t hit me to go see someone professional about it. One day I had enough and I finally did. After running back and forth constantly between PET scans, CT scans, and biopsies etc. My doctor diagnosed me with late stage Hodgkin's Lymphoma which is cancer of the lymphatic system.
I immediately had to start chemotherapy as well as radiation. It went back and forth for awhile like that till I had to do a stem cell transplant. It’s a procedure where they had to harvest stem cells out of my body and I went through a high dose of chemotherapy to wipe out what could not be seen on scans, then later being put back into my body through an IV. I had to be hospitalized for 3-4 weeks and be isolated in my home because my immune system was pretty much compromised.
In 2017 of last year, near February my doctor did announce I’m in full remission (while I was on white cell booster shots.) Unfortunately I relapsed for unknown reasons. I found lymph nodes in my groin area as well as my right neck. I did radiation for those to go away, but this means I had to discuss options with my oncologist. Even with cutting edge cancer research my options are limited and it does come with risks. This time around for stem cell transplant, they’re going to be using someone else’s cells rather than mine. The risk is basically GVHD or Grafts vs Host Disease, this means that with ANY transplant, the body will attack anything foreign in the body which it does not recognize. However, with cell transplants vs organ transplants they’re not as severe. My doctor says I might have to take immunoppressants for life but that’s only at 50% chance. So I’ll take my chances.
Fast forward to 2018, which is now... my medical bills are simply catching up to me and I can't pay it off anymore. Before I started all the chemotherapy/radiation, I wasn’t covered for some of the procedures I went through. I didn’t prepare for this emotionally or financially and I am reaching out for your help. I’m still unable to work and I would sincerely appreciate all of the help, love, and support that I can get. My goal is to beat this thing once and for all so that in the future I can finally get back to my normal life. If I receive additional support it'll go towards my education because during all these years I wasn't well enough to go back. There's a constant feeling of worry that plagues my mind. I'm extremely positive, despite the way I physically feel, my mental state is very intact. Sometimes there are days where I want to give up, but there are many people that I go to seek comfort and assurance which gives me hope. I ask that you please pass/share this along to your friends, family, acquaintances! If you can't donate then sharing helps too! I know that money can be tight, so please know that even $1 or $5 helps me get closer to my goal. I will also update you on my journey to battle this. Thank you for supporting me and taking the time to read this! God Bless ♡
If you would like to venmo me instead, it's @ayeehelen. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart. Each and every one of your donations means everything to me!
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