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Monday, March 22, 2010

My mother is amazing

And I knew she was before, but this became even more apparent to me over the last few days. She has been my caretaker, my nurse, my friend, my confidante. This past week was my first round of the new chemo and it has been the absolute worst time of my entire life, so I thank God that my mom was here every step of the way to take care of me in any little way possible. She always anticipated my every need, encouraged me to drink or eat when I didn't want to, held my hand when I needed it, and gave me the soothing words I needed to hear. Ross was able to come to town for a couple of days during my treatment and he said that moms just know how to make things better and I'd have to agree.

My new treatment plan consists of 2 rounds of ICE chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. The ICE chemo is 3 different drugs : Ifosfamide, Carboplatin and Etoposide that are given once a day, 3 days in a row. It's a stronger, more aggressive chemo to fight my lymphoma and it's as bad as it sounds. I was hospitalized for 4 days while I was treated and I felt like I was in a whirlwind, I was barely awake and out of it from all the drugs I was given and when I was awake I was nauseous and sick. But the real trouble started when I cam home. I had one good day when I thought things were getting better but then I took a turn for the worse and couldn't get past the nausea and vomiting. My energy level and strength are gone. At those moments you feel so low, so sad, so upset that this is happening to you, there are no words to describe it.

So you can imagine how upset I was when my mom finally had to leave to go back to Charlotte on Monday morning. I didn't want her to see me cry, however I wanted nothing more than to beg her to stay. I just didn't know how I could face feeling like complete crap alone. Ross had to go back to school and I didn't want to bother my friends who all had places to be during the day. Thankfully my mother (typically organized!) reached out to some of her friends who were able to take time off and scheduled someone to be with me everyday at my apartment and take me to the doctor.

I'm still reeling with the side effects of the ICE chemotherapy and this experience has made all the other treatments I went through feel like a cake walk. My sense of smell is ridiculous, I feel like I can smell the sickness in my room and it makes me more sick. I'm incredibly terrified of going through this all again for the 2nd round of ICE and I'm deeply saddened that this is my lot in life, but I know there's a positive light at the end of the tunnel.. I spoke to a survivor of a stem cell transplant today and she gave me the hope that I can get through this. Plus I have my family and friends by my side.


  1. Morgan, you know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

    It is so true that there is something so very special and unique that only mothers can give to their children. It's like no matter how old we get, they are the only ones that can make things truly better. You are such a strong and amazing woman... and I'm sure that your mom has always led by example.

    I can't even imagine everything that you're going through right now, but if you need anything (a talk, a laugh, a borrowed DVD, some good gossip) you know where to find me :-)

  2. Hi, Morgan. I work on Becca's team at McDonalds and she shared your blog with me. Your experiences sound all to familiar to mine. I'm 26, and was released from the hospital for my stem cell transplant on December 3. I had stage four hodgkins and just got my 100-day MRI scans back this morning. I am still on high from thew news that I am all clear. And while I'm inspired, I thought I'd also share with you that I rode my bike 20 miles this past weekend, on Chicago's windy lakefront. Afterwards I had a couple beers and a good stretch, and felt great the next day. Also got in a swim this morning. While I'd characterize my experience as "staying positive and getting my fitness back"..its really all the same as being fabulous. From reading your posts it seems that you are staying positive and making progress to beating this every day. Keep up the good work! there is light at the end of the tunnel. Life will still be waiting for you when this garbage is behind you, and you'll be all the more equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you. Godspeed!

    Erik Gonring
    Hodgkins Lympoma Survivor

  3. An old friend of your mom, and your former colleagueMarch 31, 2010 at 12:23 PM


    I just learned about what you're going through, and wanted to send my thoughts and prayers. It's a hard, hard road, and I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Draw on the love of your many family and friends -- as much as you need; you won't travel it alone. But you will get through it. I'll keep you in my prayers. All my best to you (and your mom). XOXO

    Nancy Hallberg
    (aka Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor)

  4. Hi Morgan,
    I think of you so very often and keep you in my prayers. Your writing is beautiful and I appreciate your willingness to share the pain along with the good. Not everyone would be able to do this. You are a strong woman and I have faith that you will heal and that God has a powerful plan for your life! It has been beautiful in Charlotte and I hope you've been able to enjoy the sunshine in the Big Apple. Warmly, Claire Lawrence, Charlotte

  5. Thank you all for your lovely comments, it means so much to me to have the support of friends near and far.