Story of our Honored Hero Kathy Miller
Apr 02, 2013 by Jatinder Dhillon
Kathy Miller shared her story with us and I'd like to share with everyone :). Please donate!
In April 2011, the day before my birthday, I received a diagnosis of Large B-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. This was after a month of testing and several months of being sick with and treated for many symptoms (coughing, fevers, sweating, weight loss, fatigue, backaches). Doctors never look for cancer FIRST, they always try to rule everything else out. And it is quite a shock to receive this diagnosis.
I met with my oncologist 5 days later and began R-CHOP chemo the next day, the first of 8 sessions, and begin feeling better within 3 days. My oncology nurse, also a NHL survivor of 10 yrs, introduced me to LLS by inviting me to attend a support group meeting (she was also co-facilitator). These monthly meetings are non-threatening and supportive and a wonderful introduction to LLS. Many patients, survivors and family members share their journeys, answer each others' questions, and receive education and other services. As lymphoma cancers are not as prevalent as some other cancers, like lung or breast cancer, support services are more limited, but the LLS does a WONDERFUL job of providing services and resources for blood cancer patients.
Through the LLS, I was also able to find out much information about my cancer and treatment from the national website (www.lls.org) and from many booklets and publications they print. LLS also offers some financial assistance to patients through a couple of programs. Of course, LLS is always advocating for patients and treatments too.
But the most important thing LLS does is to encourage and fund life-saving research for treatments and cures. One of the drugs in my chemo, rituxin, is a drug approved in 1997, and it is used very successfully, and is now even used successfully for some leukemia and Hodgkins lymphoma patients. Other drugs and treatments used for blood cancers have also gone on to treat patients with other cancers too (such as Gleevac and Velcade).
As one of this year's Wisconsin Team In Training Honored Heroes, I fully support the efforts of the Team In Training program to train participants for long-distance runs, walks, hikes or bike rides. Participants receive group and individualized coaching and training in exchange for agreeing to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Those funds cover the participants' event registrations and travel expenses, but more importantly, these funds are used for more lifesaving drug and treatment research as well as patient support programs and materials. 78 cents from every dollar raised goes DIRECTLY to research, education, patient programs, a most impressive record!
Being an Honored Hero allows me to meet many wonderful dedicated people who help support the LLS's mission of curing blood cancers, and allows me to give back to and support the LLS. Going through cancer treatment is a marathon of a different kind, with a cancer patient's finish line being not just the end of treatment, but ability to resume a healthy life. Cancer treatment comes with many side effects, sometimes some setbacks, some triumphs and some failures.
During my own journey, I have sometimes felt like it's a marathon with the finish line not quite in my reach. But I am happy to report that I am now feeling pretty good, have been in remission since Jan. 2012, and am trying to rebuild strength and energy and good health. Battling cancer is a journey nobody expects or wishes for, but very much a learning and growing experience.
For Team In Training participants, I thank you, on behalf of all blood cancer patients, for your dedication and commitment to training and raising funds on our behalf.
To your supporters and donors, a hug thank you for enabling Jacinta to participate in Team In Training. She is excited to run her first marathon this year, and your support is so critical for the LLS to continue its good works and help cure blood cancers.
Hello! I'm Jatinder. Welcome!
Feb 21, 2013
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." My journey to run a marathon began with inspiration from the Honored patients like Nicolas Grove, Nicole, Lucas, and Kathy Miller. It breaks my heart to know that these brave ones have been enduring cancer and chemotherapy.
I'm participating in the Rock 'n Roll San Diego marathon as a member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. The LLS raises money to both research and support for families who are going through blood cancer treatments. I'm dedicating my run to each cancer patient out there. Every step I'd take will remind me of strong their endurance is! I hope, and pray, you will take the opportunity to donate and support the mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures. Thank you. May God bless you and your family!