Brenna was diagnosed in May of 2013. Prior to her diagnoses we were in and out of doctors with symptoms such as, unexplained fevers, night sweats, back aches, fatigue and the worst, ITCHY. She was prescribed lotions for the itch, sleeping pills to help with the itch, antibiotics, all that never worked.
She was in her last semester of college in New York. When she came home for the summer, we went to a hematologist, 3 tubes of blood and 20 minutes later the doctor came in and told us the words you never want to hear “blood cancer” I was instantly sick to my stomach. Brenna was speechless and relieved at the same time to know she did have something wrong.
The journey began, tests, scans, and a biopsy to confirm the type of cancer it was.
The day came, Chemo was to start, 6 months, bi-weekly of ABVD. All I did was cry and wanted to take all this away from my daughter. All I could do was be there every step of the way. I would cry when her back was turned and put on a good show in front of her.
Her first treatment went well no vomiting and very little nausea, tired was about all. After her 2nd treatment a scan was done 99.9% cancer free!!
Brenna did on line classes for her first semester of her senior year so that she would be able to graduate with her class. She never missed a beat, went to concerts, hung with friends and still had hair. The hair…this was the most devastating factor of cancer for her, losing her beautiful, long black thick hair. She cut 7″ off to alleviate some of the weight. By her last treatment still had some hair, it was very short and thinner like a boy’s cut, but she had hair.
We ran into a few obstacles with the picc line she chose to have instead of a port, but it was resolved within a week.
All of a sudden the 12th treatment was here. December 19th was her last treatment. Then the last scan..100% cancer free!!!
Brenna never once felt sorry for herself nor did she ever say “Why me?” She did a journal on YouTube and so many people followed it. They would contact her and she told them her successful story and gave them hope. She did not let cancer put a hold on her life.
Brenna went back to college in January and is graduating May 23, 2014 with her class as a communications major!! I tell her all the time “Thank God I had you to go through this with I would never of been able to do it.” She started out with a positive attitude and ended treatment with a better one.
Never look back, always keep positive, millions of people kick cancer’s butt and you will too!
-Written by Sheila Crowe. Light The Night Team Captain and proud mother of a soon to be college graduate and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage 4B survivor.