Lymphoma Survivor

Excellent doctors and trusting in God have saved my life

Name: Diana Smith
Age: 52
Hometown: Denver, Indiana
Type of cancer: T-cell, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Date of diagnosis: October 1985
Stage at diagnosis: Stage 3
Current date: June, 2009
Current status: Remission

1. How was your health when you were diagnosed?
Excellent, healthy.

2. Where were you initially diagnosed?
Parkview Hospital Fort Wayne, Indiana

3. What treatment was initially recommended?
Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne . Dr. John Csicsko performed a left upper lobectomy due to a mass that had overtaken that part of the lung and then a week later, I was started on the MACOP-B regimen of chemotherapy under the direction of Dr. S.R. Nattam of Fort Wayne, IN. The chemo consisted of daily pills and weekly infusions for 16 weeks.

4. Did you get a 2nd or 3rd opinion? If so, where?
No, I was in the hospital at the time of surgery and was told that it was a very aggressive form of the disease, and with or without treatment I may only have three months to live. So, I wanted to get started on treatment right away with three small children at home!

5. Are you still in treatment?
Praise God I am in remission and not in any treatment!

6. Did you try alternative treatments outside of your doctor's recommendation?

7. Did you participate in a Clinical Trial?
No... it wasn't offered at time I was going through treatment.

8. Do you engage in any other homeopathic remedies or treatments?

9. Did you change your diet? How is it different from before your diagnosis?
I have always tried to eat healthy... I work harder at it now!

10. Did you change your exercise program? How is it different from before your diagnosis?
The loss of the left upper lobe of my lung changed my exercise for me and I have learned to adapt to the loss of volume with NO supplemental oxygen! But I cannot participate in endurance type exercise, and fatigue easily in extreme temperatures. I become short of breath also under these conditions…but I am alive and well!

11. Do you take any nutritional supplements? If so, what do you take?
No, I try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

12. Did you change your stress reduction program? How is it different from before your diagnosis?
I think once you have been through something as life changing as a lymphoma diagnosis and putting God in the driver’s seat…the stress is reduced. I think it is more remembering to not worry about things I cannot change and pray about things that I can and that has helped so much!

13. Are you currently considered to be disease free?
Praise God... yes!

14. How long have you been disease free?
From Lymphoma…23.5 years! From skin cancer…two years!

15. What are you doing to stay disease free?
Thanking God for each day, putting my energies into helping others fighting this battle (I am a nurse), and trying to live healthy and listen to my body!

16. What do you think is the most important thing you did to combat your cancer?
I think it was a combination of several factors…putting it in God’s hands, finding a doctor I really liked and trusted, and never giving up hope when the odds were against me!

17. Are you willing to have a newly diagnosed patient contact you?

18. Brief Additional Narrative
I have been a Registered Nurse for 30 years and this cancer experience has given me an insight to relate to my patients from the very core of my heart that I could never have learned sitting in a classroom. I recently had a scare with a nodule that popped up on my neck and had to undergo an excisional biopsy. One of the tests came back suggesting that the T-cell lymphoma might have returned and the tissue had to be sent to California for further testing – making for a long wait and testing of our patience and faith. Praise God it was negative! My point is that once you are diagnosed there are many challenges as with life, but I go back to that starting point each time, and remember that I am not in control and give it to God and coast on in!


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