Never Give UP!!
Dec 10, 2013 by Kelley Wade Perdue
Cancer Patient to Marathon Runner
Dec 31, 2013 by Kelley Wade Perdue
After a workout at the gym, I went to my best friend’s house and looked in the mirror and saw a lump bulging out of my collar area. I knew it was not there before. It just didn’t seem right. I waited a few days, asking friends and co-workers what it could be. I researched a little and finally made my appointment at the doctor on July 19, 2012, I had blood drawn and antibiotics prescribed. The blood work came back absolutely perfect. I waited a month only to find another knot right above the one I already had. Something really wasn’t right… So I made an appointment ASAP, on August 21, 2012, to see the doctor again. My doctors knew me well and I was not going anywhere until I received an order for a diagnostic test. I received my order and the next day I was at the radiology department getting a CT Scan. Then came the time for the most dreaded phone call of my life… “I’m sorry, we have scheduled you with an Oncologist, and we believe you have Lymphoma, (cancer of the lymphatic system)” Of course I went a little hysterical and my heart dropped as all I could think about was my two beautiful little girls who needed their mama. I picked myself up and began to research what I needed to know and do to prepare myself. The time drew near for my oncology appointment on August 29, 2012, I showed up smiling and fearless. (The doctor even wrote in my report I had very good spirits and I was very knowledgeable of the disease and the outcomes.) During my appointment, I had labs done and was asked over and over about symptoms. The doctor was very pleased to let me know my labs were outstanding and I had no symptoms other than the swollen lymph nodes (the noticeable knots) on my neck. My question was “How can I have cancer with normal blood work and no symptoms?” With Lymphoma it is very common to have perfect blood work and no symptoms. It simply means it is still in the lymph nodes, which is a great thing!
After speaking with the doctor, I was scheduled to have a lymph node removed to determine the staging and type of Lymphoma I have.
I had the surgery on September 6, 2012; the biopsy determined I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Nodular Sclerosis stage 2A. (A=no symptoms)
It was also determined this cancer has been dormant for years and I was exposed to the Epps Barr Virus when I was 14 years old when I had mono. (That was 20 years ago...wow)
Next was the beginning of my treatment regimen.
I completed 4 rounds (8 treatments) of chemotherapy called ABVD on January 22, 2013. It made me weak and tired. I had my moments where I needed to take a break and then I would just get right back up and keep going! I was also given a drug called Neulasta, which helps boost my white blood counts, due to the chemo killing my good and bad cells. This particular medicine increased my WBC by promoting growth in my bone marrow which put pressure on my bones until the new White Blood Cells were expelled into my blood stream. I completed 21 radiation treatments on March 29, 2013. This left me not eating solid foods for about 4 weeks and pain to the area, looking like sun poison. I now have a permanent suntan on my treated area.
I am now back in college trying to achieve my MBA/MHA at East Carolina University. I am also doing what I do best and that is being a mommy to my two beautiful girls Em and Taylor who are now ages 8 and 10.
I want my friends, family and co-workers to know how being proactive about your health can help so much!! There are so many people who would have just left the knot(s) alone and thought since blood work was fine and no abnormal symptoms, thinking they were ok. Well, if I would have just not paid any attention, six months or years from now, I would have been at a higher stage and a not so good prognosis. Please, please listen to your body and get check -ups!! It may save your life one day!!
I am a very strong willed, determined person and I will fight with everything I have. I have so many people wonder how I have such a positive attitude as having been diagnosed with such a horrific disease... My answer is always “This is just a bump along life’s path, I will overcome it and one day I will tell my grandchildren how I did it!”
These are a few of my favorite quotes:
“I may have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me”
“Cancer has tried to take over my body; it has not taken over my mind”
“No need to cry, I will save that for the day my Dr tells me I am Cancer Free, right now I am fighting a battle”
I have been blessed with a wonderful support group at home and at work. I am giving my wealth of support back into the community. I decided once in remission, to train for a Marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society North Carolina Chapter. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (TNT), the largest and most successful endurance sports training and fundraising program, it will inspire and support me to achieve my goal of a full marathon. I have been training since my remission date of 5/10/13. I am proud to say I am down many inches, lots of pounds and my endurance is much better! I am running in the Disney Marathon on January 12, 2014. I am so excited!
I now ask my family, friends and community to help me achieve my goal and help me to raise $2800.00 for LLS in the fight against Cancer and to promote Cancer research! This organization is great and it’s such a benefit to so many patients, caregivers and families!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story! I hope you find it inspirational!!
Now off to continue training for the challenge! 26.2 mile run at Disney as a “SURVIVOR”
My Fundraising Page
Sep 27, 2013
Teams are made up of individuals. Without them, there is no team.
Welcome to Kelley Wade Perdue's Team in Training page.
I have a mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in a sports endurance event as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. Like the other members of TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. I’m improving the quality of my life by participating and with your support, I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.
Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures.