• Maddie
    Hi, everyone. I just joined. A little about me: My husband, our 13 canine furkids, my lizard, and I live on a few wooded acres in a rural area of central Virginia. I moved up here from Atlanta in 2012. In 2015, my lung collapsed, and the CT scan showed a mass that took up most of my right chest. I spent two weeks in the hospital waiting for and dreading a diagnosis while the doctors and nurses tried to prepare me for the worst and to not give me false hope. I was blessed and lucky to finally be diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. A diagnosis of Hodgkin is often referred to as "winning the cancer lottery" because about 91% of the people diagnosed with it will be cured by their first course of treatment. Hodgkin not cured by the first course of treatment is another story. It's very difficult to cure.

    I was so relieved by the diagnosis in 2015 that I didn't fret too much about losing my hair. I never would have expected that of myself! Other than trimming split ends, I hadn't cut my hair in 39 years! I didn't care that I was 53. I didn't ever intend to cut it! My long hair was very much a part of me. It was past my waist, wavy, and thick, and entirely unruly. Age was only beginning to thin it a little. Of course, messy, beachy waves were neither popular nor desireable yet. They waited until mine fell out to suddenly become all the rage *sulk.* I reminded myself that I love costumes and playing dress-up, and consoled myself with the intention to try wigs in every color and style I could get my hands on!

    A year after I completed treatment, a PET scan showed three more tumors. Sigh. I've managed to lose at "winning the lottery." The Hodgkin is back, and I'm preparing for an autologous stem cell transplant. I've already undergone two 5-day 24/7 chemo treatments, and next Monday I go in to the hospital for one more, then they'll collect my stem cells and I'll get the transplant. My hair fell out three weeks ago. Three days, and it was gone!

    I think that's a good excuse to add a new wig to my collection. :) I'm thinking about Ellen Wille's Girl Mono in Light Bernstein Rooted. I think Ellen Wille is overpriced, but I love her wigs, and I love Light Bernstein Rooted. I have Echo in that color, and it's one of my favorites. I hope you'll forgive me for not posting any pictures yet. I'm not getting around very well these days. n
  • PinkEvie
    Hello and welcome to this lovely group of ladies that wear wigs. I am so sorry to read about your diagnosis and send virtual hugs and positive vibes and a good out come after your treatment next Monday.
  • Erzsike
    Welcome!!!!! I, too, am sorry about your diagnosis. You are in my prayers. xxoo I have non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
  • drift3r
    Welcome!!! It sounds like you are on one heck of a roller coaster ride. You sound like a “glass half full” kind of person even though you’ve been through so much. SOoo glad you are here :smile:

    P.S. I am a fellow rural dweller with quite a few fur kids and I’d love to see photos of your babies hehe :hearts:
  • dc21
    Welcome Maddie! I will pray that your stem cell transplant is successful! Many blessings!

    I hope you are doing well! My mother suffered from Diffuse Large B Cell NHL.
  • BeatA
    @Maddie@Erzsike I am a triple cancer survivor (breast right, breast left and thyroid) I only had chemo with the first breast cancer, because I was only 30 years old then, but ironically never lost my hair due to cancer, but due to alopecia- go figure. I had a friend who went through a stem cell transplant and that is NO PICNOIC! You are finitely in my thoughts for that ordeal!
    I just celebrated my 26th anniversary of bing a cancer survivor (starting from the firsts breast cancer ) and I intend to be kicking for quite a while longer. FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!
  • Maddie
    Thanks, everyone. I spent a day reading through the forum before I joined.

    Erzslke, I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with this stuff, too. I'll keep you in my prayers.

    Drift3r, I'll get some pics of my babies on my husband's phone (mine takes terrible pictures) to upload. I'm using an Amazon Fire (Kindle) right now. It takes pictures, but it's not much better at it than my phone! I want to get some good ones to take with me when I go in for the transplant. (Having to be away from my furbabies for five or six weeks or more is the most stressful part of this!) I'd love to see pictures of your furkids, too!
  • Maddie
    Oops. I was going to say I spent a day reading through the forum before I joined, and everyone seems so genuinely nice!
  • Moonlitnight
    Maddie, first a HUGE welcome to the forum. It will be lovely to have you posting here. Thirteen canine furbabies!!! Hopefully in the future we will get a pic of these little angels.
    Hang in there with the Hodgkins. A neighbour of mine had that a few years ago and I know it was quite a process with it coming back and then finally leaving. At the risk of sounding teeny, "You can do this!"

    I didn't realize this. Thank you for sharing. It makes that comment you received even more disgraceful in my eyes. Lots of hugs from above the 49th.
  • Moonlitnight
    I somehow missed this too. I knew you had alopecia. Well, good for you, my friend. It left and won't be back. xo
  • Alex Kautz WIGS.COM TEAM
    Hi Maddie! Thank you for sharing your story!! Happy to have you here on the forum.. and can't wait to hopefully see you in Code Mono! I love that style :)

    Sending positive energy your way! :sparkle:
  • dc21
    Continued good health!
  • Erzsike
    and Maddie: this is actually my third cancer! I had uterine cancer in my thirties, Stage IV. Lost all my reproductive organs and had treatments. two years ago I had colon cancer. That's over but must have CT scans and colonoscopy every year. My lymphoma was discovered out of the blue during a CT scan monitor colon. The beat goes on!
  • Katooshie
    so glad you're here with us!!! :)
  • Moonlitnight
    Erzsike, I am impressed. Not with the fact you have been through this three times with different cancers (quite a feat) but that you must have something in your system that just says "OK, let's get this over and done with." One of my neighbours (he'd talk the hind legs off a donkey, as we say in the UK) had cancer four times in various parts. He swore it was the black Russian kale that he grew in his back yard. I believe it was his belief in the black Russian kale. Belief is a huge instigator of epigenetic change. Over with that topic and wishing you and everyone here continued good health. xoxoxo
  • Katooshie
    thats a very good point that belief can instigate epigenetic change.
  • samfalcon99
    Wow Mary, you should be proud. You're showing a lot of strength in adversity from what I can tell form your message. To be honest I don't think I could have persevered like you have! However totally solidarity with you and happy to here you could find a silver lining with wigs!

    Also everybody here is such an inspiration! Cancer survivors in my opinion are some of the strongest people out there. I only know one (my grandmother) but it's so uplifting hearing everyone's stories of overcoming adversity!
  • Vee1028
    welcome to the forum. As a 4th stage cervical cancer survivor I cannot even imagine going through it 3 times. #Erzsike #BeatA God bless all of you and keep you strong and healthy.
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