Cancer gave me the opportunity to inspire others.
In November 2014, my daughter was born. I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection by my doctor and was on my 3rd round of antibiotics because it just wasn’t going away. Life was hectic as I learned to care for my newborn and was getting into a new routine. Some of my lymph nodes became swollen. I was having night sweats. I developed a rash and high fevers. I tried advocating for myself but I wasn’t heard being heard and was told I was experiencing postpartum problems until my symptoms were so severe that I ended up in the ER.
I was diagnosed finally with Stage IV Diffuse Large B Cell lymphoma in January 2015. I was scared and just wanted to get better for my daughter. I spent 5 months going through treatment. Every 3 weeks I would complete a 5-day hospital stay with 24-hour chemo drips. I had to take medicine and shots at home, in between cycles. I had a picc line instead of a port due to the mass in my chest, so I wasn’t able to lift anything more than 10 pounds, including my daughter. I felt that I missed out on so much with my newborn, but was lucky to have a supportive mom and sister who moved into my home while my husband stayed with me in the hospital. We did what worked best for our family.
For those starting this journey, know that you’re not alone. There is a whole community of survivors online, ready to support you. Be hopeful and practice self-care. Follow me on Instagram at @carolynvento to learn more!
Cancer made me a better husband, friend, and family member. It gave me the opportunity to dedicate my life to something truly meaningful.
My faith in God grew and I don't take life for granted! I found freedom and peace in Christ!