Joined Mar 1 2009
My baby sister, Liz, has been fighting Hodgkin's Lymphoma for over 8 years now. She was diagnosed in 2002 at the age of 22. She had her own stem cell transplant in 2004 but it came back before a year. Since then she's been on chemo after chemo with very little breaks. She has had it go to "no sign of disease" 2 or 3 times but then it came back by her 3-month check-up. In May of 2009 she entered a trial at City of Hope and by April of 2010 she was again at "no sign of disease", and today, October 22, 2010, she remains at "no sign of disease" - first time in all these years she's made it past the 3-month mark. She has another PET on Tuesday, 10/26, but we're hopeful.
Liz almost said yes to a 2nd transplant in Dec of '08 but the seriousness of GVHD among Hodkin's patients scared her so much she declined. I didn't know what to think, but knew she had to follow her heart in what was best for her.
Seeing what Jennifer has endured all these years as a result of GVHD, I am glad Liz chose to hold out. I do not understand why Hodgkin's patients have such a high rate of GVHD, and I wish they would do more research to find out. I know many Leukemia survivors who have had two transplants and never experience such GVHD issues. There is something in the Hodgkin's makeup that causes this.
We hold Jennifer in our prayers and think she is amazing the way she fights and shares her story.