I started feeling very tired and I started noticing a lot of illnesses that would linger and infections that would not go away and it started my journey going to the local family doctor who then in turn referred me to Moffitt Cancer Center, feeling that this would be the best place for me to receive treatment.
I was diagnosed with evolving aplastic anemia and then leukemia in May of 2011. And that’s how it all began.
I think our entire family was very, obviously, surprised, shocked, what does this mean and we really didn’t understand a lot about blood diseases. It had never come up in family history, so we really sought guidance from the hematology and malignancy team here at Moffitt.
There was a whole team of people waiting to talk to me about exactly what this LGL leukemia means. We had a place to come to for answers. We weren’t afraid to ask those questions and they were not afraid to give us the answers that we needed…from the nurses to the doctors to Doug, the valet, to Margie at the front desk. When I walk in, I don’t feel isolated and alone. I know that I have team and friends and family here at Moffitt Cancer Center.
I feel that courage is something that we have in all of us. When you hear this news or you hear those words, you don’t feel that your whole life will change completely but in this situation without there being a cure…it’s a constant, chronic illness. I think the courage comes from my family and the love that I get from my friends’ family and especially the people here at Moffitt. If it wasn’t for my family at Moffitt, I don’t think I would have the courage I do today.