DENation Saves Lives

"We love you. Your DEN Family"

It takes a village to raise a child but DENation to save a life. Your collective faces, voices. and hearts pulled together to save my life. All of you every day in every way do something to complete me. You have kept me alive for a long time and I hope I have the chance to pay it forward. Here’s my story, in case you did not catch it on one of my FB pages or Porter’s DE post.

Beating a Triple Threat

I was not supposed to live. In April, 2012, my Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma needed treatment, but nothing worked. By the second core biopsy in October, 2012, we learned my blood cancer transformed to Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), an aggressive cancer, terminal if not defeated. Time is not your friend with DLBCL.

Need more lessons, Meg Blue Griffen

Nothing worked until the 7th chemo cocktail in January, 2013, when my clock was ticking loudly, and believe me after all the salvage chemo I had, this effort was a shot in the dark, I think. It worked.

The problem with things not working had to do with an uncommon c-myc oncogene, a pathogen in my body that enables rapid cell growth. NOT good for someone with an aggressive cancer. My lymph nodes under my arms were literally softball size. Scary. So, I have two B-cell cancers in my body which is just bad luck, plus the c-myc oncogene. A triple threat.

 

Almost anyone can beat cancer if I can, given you do not get an always-terminal cancer diagnosis. How did I do it so far. YOU! Without you and your daily support, your “likes” and your comments (I treasure them) and your PRAYERS, (would be lost without them), and gifts (visits, card showers, and thoughtful things, soul food for a cancer fighter), it would have been a hard haul. YOU make the difference EVERY DAY. Early on, I faced how much time I would have if nothing worked, and what death would look like. And then I lived. I am one determined person who always believed I would be cured and given some more time, and I have great plans to do good with that time, God willing. God bless all of you for helping me everyday on my journey to wellness. I love you all! YOU keep me strong.

My DEN family did more than keep me strong; YOU kept me alive. Without your continued support, it would have been so easy to give in. I ran with you, swam oceans, walked with you. We visit, we giggle, and we live. And while most of my friends just happen to belong to the DEN, I would be remiss not to include my llama and alpaca friends, my local friends, as well as a group of friends who live in the upstate NY area and surrounding environs. You know who you are. Thank you for hats, scarves, teas, gloves, frogs (I love them), and an incredible card shower. I LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. THANK YOU FOR KEEPING ME ALIVE.

 

 

Comments

  1. Sheila

    Love you, RJ! We’ll always be there for you! You’re in a thoughts and prayers daily! You give us hope! <3. HUGS!

  2. Zulma Whiteford

    RJ, You are an inspiration to all of us. Lots of prayers and DEN love coming you way!

  3. Robin Martin

    Hey RJ! So glad to hear this prognosis! You were missed at many DEN events this year, but we know you are cheering on the DEN from afar. This was a beautiful post. I think of your inspiration to blog each time I write one. I’m still looking forward to visiting your llamas.

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