Each of us tells our own story best in the first person. So, I have asked my sister to share from her heart. I believe in God, the power of prayer, family and friends and miracles. I am putting my “mustard seed faith” to work and asking you to please take a few minutes to read what she has written, pause a moment, say a prayer and then if you are so moved, please donate on her behalf. There is no giving too little – and any donation you make will surely help us MOVE THIS MOUNTAIN for Malvine.
Often, we don’t see the whole plan that God has for our lives and we never know what our life journey will really look like until it unfolds day-by-day…and mine is no different. It’s how we choose to react to adversities and challenges that beset us that makes all the difference in the world. I choose to walk by faith and continue to put my trust in God and His Son Jesus Christ.
On July 3, 2013, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Follicular Lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a group of blood cancers that includes all types of lymphomas except Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
All this came as a total surprise. I had no symptoms or difficulties just thought I had scar tissue from my hysterectomy surgery back in 2008. Boy was I wrong!!! The ultra sound that my gynecologist prescribed showed I had a mass/tumor that was wrapped around my spleen, left kidney and into my lower abdomen, so he immediately sent me for a CAT scan that showed a mass and an excessive fluid build-up around my lungs and other organs requiring draining. I was admitted into the hospital on 7/3/13 and the next day they did a biopsy and plural effusion to drain the fluid and I was diagnosed with NHL. Over the next week, the fluid built up again so I had to go back for another plural effusion and then decided to take all my medical records to New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
It was all so fast and furious and because the cancer cells were transforming into Large B-Cell we decided to do an aggressive R-CHOP cancer treatment. I went through 6 rounds of treatment in 4 months. My mid-way PET scan (followed by my final PET scan at the end of the 6 treatments - Nov 2013) both showed NO cancer. However, in October of 2015, I sensed that something wasn’t right and after doing the CAT/PET scans and biopsy it was determined that the cancer was active and I would have to begin treatment again.
In January of 2016, I started a new treatment called R-Squared (Infusion then 21 days of chemo pill called Revlimid) which is less aggressive but much longer. I had to go to NYC for 2 days once a month for 6 months, then 1 day a month for another 13 months. My last infusion was on 8/4/17, and I took my last Revlimid pill on Friday 8/25/17. PRAISE GOD!!!! God has not taken me this far to leave me here, and I continue to trust Him for my healing and the finances to complete my treatment.
On January 1, 2017, I lost my health coverage and it caused me to look at my work circumstances and what my next steps would be. I was in the middle of treatment, it was a very difficult time, I had to battle depression and the emotional rollercoaster, but I knew God did not bring me this far without a purpose, and I trusted that He would open a door and He did.
The manufacturers of the chemo drugs I am taking both granted me 12 months of charity and have been supplying my chemo drugs free of charge since 1/1/17. Columbia has also been supportive by supplying me with charity care so that I can get my monthly infusions and blood work. Again, Praise God!
I am not eligible for private insurance until open enrollment in Jan of 2018, and the time came for me to get my final PET scan per doctor’s orders. The cost was $6500 and the best the hospital could do was to give me a discount of 30% making the cost $4550. In addition, I have accumulated another $6000 in hospital, doctor, travel, lab and deductible fees. In FAITH, I went and had my final PET Scan on 9/15/17 and it came back negative. Again, Praise God - I am so very grateful.
Thank you for allowing me to share. Although it has been a difficult journey, it’s not the end. It’s the beginning of something else. God always closes one door and opens another one. I stand at the ready to see what He has in store for me. I choose not to look at the 10K+ monkey on my back, but instead, to how He will use me to help so many others that may travel a similar path.
By faith, I ask you to help me make MY MOUNTAIN MOVE.
Closing Thought from Deanna
Just an FYI, all funds collected will be deposited directly into Malvine's account as the beneficiary of this campaign. Expecting great things!!!
- Maureen Walsh
- Diane Simmons
- Jewel Jones
- Theresa Scott
Organizer and beneficiary
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