Throughout March and April, Christina was having difficulty taking deep breaths but attributed it to allergies. It became much more concerning when she had a couple episodes at night waking up nauseous and blacking out. One time she fell face forward hitting her head on her bedside table, awakening in pain and blood on her face. She attributed these episodes to the muscle relaxers she had been taking off and on for a few weeks for upper back spasms but it was confirmed that the nausea and blackouts were caused by an excessive anount of leukocytes created to fight the tumor.
On May 14, 2019, my cousin Christina was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) confirmed through a needle biopsy. Doctors discovered a “bulky” 10 cm x 7 cm tumor between her heart and left lung. After discussions with her oncologist, they decided chemo was the best option at this point in an effort to shrink the tumor.
Removal was not an option because technically, lymphoma is systemic and there could still be other areas waiting to grow into a tumor. Therefore chemo is required, with radiation to follow once the tumor has shrank enough.
B-cell lymphomas make up most (about 85%) of the non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) in the United States. These are types of lymphoma that affect B lymphocytes. This is the most common type of NHL in the United States, accounting for about 1 out of every 3 lymphomas. The lymphoma cells look fairly large when seen with a microscope. DLBCL tends to be a fast-growing aggressive lymphoma.
A subtype of DLBCL is Primary Mediastinal B-cell Lymphoma. This type of lymphoma occurs mostly in young women. It starts in the mediastinum (the area in the middle of the chest behind the breastbone). It can grow quite large and can cause trouble breathing because it often presses on the windpipe (trachea) leading into the lungs. It can also block the superior vena cava (the large vein that returns blood to the heart from the arms and head). This is why she was having difficulty taking deep breaths.
Christina had hoped she would be coming to an end with chemo/radiation sometime in October but has recently discovered that she will enter into 2020 still under treatment which means her deductible will need to be met again. As you all know, insurance definitely helps lighten the financial blow of extended care but sometimes it simply is not enough.
While Christina has a good job, wonderful friends and family who supports her and loves her dearly, these do not help with the financial burden cancer can put on ones shoulders. She loves her loved ones fiercely and would help a stranger in need. Please help Christina in her time of need.
Thank you so much for your time and donations. Every little bit helps!
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