Life is so often a story of contrasting moments. Contrasting emotions. The highs in stark contrast to the lows.
When it comes to cancer, each day can be its own microcosm of the full emotional spectrum. Some days start with challenges; all days require hope. Jeanne Frazer has experienced the cancer rollercoaster in full force.
Jeanne is a horse lover, business owner and survivor – a type 1 diabetic, stage 4 lymphoma survivor, to be more specific.
Eight years ago, yes 8 years, Jeanne was diagnosed with lymphoma after a biopsy revealed that numerous lumps were indeed cancerous. For Jeanne, whose father and grandfather both died of cancer, it was a devastating shock. The sort of shock that can leave even the most optimistic of people in a state of fear.
The news came around Thanksgiving. Jeanne pushed to start treatment prior to Christmas. With the first round of treatments scheduled, Jeanne turned her focus to things that seemed more controllable. As she said, “she got her affairs in order.” She spent more time with family and held onto the healing power of being at the barn with horses and friends.
As a diabetic, a critical aspect of her health hinged on managing the life-threatening impact of the steroids and chemotherapy on her blood sugar. Her normally upbeat endocrinologist warned, “call me when you are in the hospital…and you will be in the hospital.” This statement alone was cause for alarm.
From alarm and dread to hope and joy.
When she arrived for her first treatment, Jeanne received incredible news that just the day before, a German medical team had a breakthrough in research, yielding a drug combination that was far less toxic, yet even more effective – a drug that would alter the course of her treatment plan.
Suddenly, hope. Great hope.
Contrasting moments. One moment, she had been a diabetic in stage 4 cancer with a very difficult family history to overcome. In the next moment, she learned she would be the beneficiary of cutting-edge research, research that she credits with making her treatment much easier and keeping her out of the hospital, maybe even saving her life.
Research has now given Jeanne 8 years cancer free. Time to spend with family, friends and horses!
There are times we all question the progress we are making in the global fight against cancer. Jeanne is living proof that cancer research is making a difference. Cancer research gave Jeanne hope, cancer research gave her life – the ultimate gift.
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