My best friend, Jenny McCulloch was recently diagnosed with Non Hodgkin Primary Mediastinal B-cell Lymphoma. To better understand what this terrific woman is going through right now, please read her story:
"The next chapter…Sometimes in this crazy thing we call life, we can’t really tell when one chapter ends a new one begins. Sometimes you know it is approaching, sometimes we are so in the zone that we may not see it coming and are blindsided. I know exactly when the page turned and the next chapter in my life began, February 9th, 2018. After a while of being oddly sick, noticing a lump on the side of my neck and near my throat and the advice of a friend, I sought out medical attention. After hours of being in the ER and a CT scan, I sat in the hallway watching patients come and go, nurses tending to the ill, I sat there, waiting for them to come tell me it was nothing more than a double or even a triple chin and to hit the gym, slap me with a hefty bill and send me on my way. They moved me into an actual room and I thought to myself, “I don’t need a room, there are far more severe patients here. Don’t make a fuss for me” and it wasn’t until the doctor came in and closed the door. It’s never good when they close the door. “You’ve got something.” Those words still ring in my ears. The next chapter goes on in the form of a whirlwind of doctor appts, a biopsy, echo-cardiogram, a bone marrow extraction and what seems like endless pokes, prods and a crap ton of blood draws later and the next chapter now has a name, Non Hodgkin Primary Mediastinal B-cell Lymphoma. This is by far the scariest thing I have ever had to go through. While it’s an aggressive treatment, I find relief in the fact that this is treatable cancer, it’s just that the road to get through the storm is a rough one but this WILL NOT defeat me and I will have many more chapters to come. I started chemotherapy on February 16th and will be going every 3 weeks until about June. I ask you keep me in your thoughts and send nothing but good vibes. I will overcome this stronger than I have ever been with the love and support of all you wonderful people. I’m not sure what to expect and I will take each day as a new hurdle, leaping over them one by one. My oncologist has a beautiful ladder made out of driftwood in the building with the words “One step at a time, just one step” carved into the wood. No truer words have ever resonated in me. The next few months will be done as such and those steps will be the rough draft of the next chapter. I’ll leave you with a funny, because we all know that’s my strong suit…I have to drink 100oz of fluids a day during the treatment plan, so if you ever wanna know where to find me, it’s likely in a bathroom somewhere."
Back to Katrina: Although she originally thought that she would have to go in only once every 3 weeks, that was recently changed due to the oncologist receiving her results from the bone marrow biopsy, and needed to make her treatment a little more aggressive. Now, she has a PICC line and has to change the chemo. She has to go in on Mondays, get a bag of meds, which is basically pumped in like an insulin pump, and then go back every day during that week to get a new bag of meds. Then, she goes back and does it all over again after 2 weeks of a break.
This new line of treatment will be affecting her more than we originally thought, not only her physical state, but her mental state and her work capabilities as well.
With every appointment comes a cost. With every procedure comes a cost. With every trip, meal, treatment, a cost that she didn't prepare for. A cost that she couldn't prepare for.
She has a great support system in her family and friends, but will need all the financial support she can get to sustain her life here in Novato with those two beautiful little boys of hers.
If you are in Novato, but aren't able to support financially, there is a meal train that has recently been started for Jenny and her family.
The link is: https://mealtrain.com/34eyk8
It states how many to make the meals for, but just a reminder, it is for Jenny and her two boys, plus her mother, who came out here from Colorado as soon as Jenny was diagnosed and will be staying with her through her treatment.
We are a wonderful community and I hope we can help make a difference in Jenny's life, while she goes through this horrific chapter in her story.