Cancer Advocate - I am here for a reason and here to advocate and support other cancer patients that have been recently diagnosed.
When I was a young child, I always knew that I wanted to secure a position in the healthcare field. I thought about becoming a Social Worker, Psychologist, and even a Police Officer. I also knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world and serve others. When I graduated high school, I went directly to community college in Queens, New York for a year. Even at the young and tender age of 18, I did not have much direction in my life at that time. Fortunately, I was able to secure a Government position and worked in that field for 10 years when I decided to resign in 2000.
I had my son in July of 2000, and I was blessed that I was able to be a stay at home mother and take care of him while my husband worked. In October of 2000, I found the lump (lymph node) in my right groin area and went to my primary care physician before Thanksgiving. When I initially found the lump, I knew right away that I had cancer. It was just a knowing that I had deep down in my heart. When I went to my primary care physician he examined me and quickly made an emergency appointment for an ultrasound of my pelvis. I am so grateful that my doctor sent me immediately because when the results came back, the lymph node was growing at a rapid pace. Shortly after this, my primary care doctor had referred me to a surgeon and the surgeon scheduled the surgery to have my right lymph node removed and biopsied. Unfortunately, the test results came back positive for cancer, and I knew that it would.
I was then referred to an Oncologist in my neighborhood and had to have a CBC (Complete Blood Count) performed. When those results came back my WBC (White Blood Count) was 14,000. My Oncologist had scheduled me for a bone marrow aspiration to be performed in his office. With all of my cancer treatments that I had to endure, this aspiration was the most difficult for me. Even though my Oncologist gave me a local, I still felt the pain. Even though the pain only lasted about two minutes, I have to say that those two minutes were vital to my treatments.
Before I began my chemotherapy in January 2001, I had to have a bone scan and a CT (Catscan), to ensure that the cancer did not spread to any other part of my body. After all of the tests came back, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage 1, Large Diffuse B Cell. The protocol for treatment was as follows: three months of CHOP therapy and four weeks of radiation.
And here I am, 18 years later and I am a survivor. Once I finished my treatments, I decided to go back to school online with SUNY Empire State College in 2004 and had acquired my Bachelors in Community & Human Services, and graduated in May 2013. Since I loved healthcare so much and wanted to serve others for my best and highest good, I decided to pursue my Masters in Healthcare Administration Management with Southern New Hampshire University and graduated in January 2016. On July 11, 2018, I generated my business online as a Cancer Advocate at Michele Cerami’s Cancer Advocate Services. I am here for a reason and here to advocate and support other cancer patients that have been recently diagnosed.
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