It's year 5 for Chicago's Swim Across America event. The swim benefits the Rush University Medical Center Cancer Center, which is where I'm currently being treated for my cancer.....STILL! I would love to have you donate to my fundraising page or even join me out at the lake on Saturday, July 29th. You can swim various distances: 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 1.5 mile or 3 miles. It's not a competitive event, so anyone can get out there and do it.
My cancer story could be a novel, so I'll try and keep it short. But there's a lot to talk about when you are a 5 time cancer survivor! I was diagnosed with a malignant firbous histiocytoma sarcoma (MFH sarcoma) back in 2002. This happened to be smack dab in the middle of my college career, as I was 19 when I was diagnosed. There was a tumor in my femur. I did 6 rounds of chemo before having my tumor removed. Since the tumor was inside my bone, they removed the lower 6 inches of my femur and replaced it with a rod. I did about 12 more months of chemo and was declared cancer free in December, 2004.
Fast forward to June of 2012 (8 years later) and on a random chest xray, there was a small lung nodule that had popped up on my lung. The nodule was removed and did in fact test positive for sarcoma. My cancer was back, and it's been pesky ever since. I've had 4 lung surgeries now to remove various lung nodules and also had surgery on my left thigh to remove a tumor that popped up there - which we also ended up doing radiation to. I've been on chemo since April of 2014 and the chemo seems to be working for the most part. I have 2 lung nodules in my right lung currently that we are keeping an eye on.
I absolutely love Rush. Which sounds odd to love a hospital and the people that work there, but I truly believe that I'm in the best of hands at Rush. I've had the 2 best oncologists that anyone could ask for (Dr. Batus and Dr. Korenblit) and an orthopedic oncologist (Dr. Gitelis) who has operated on me at least 10 times and kept me up and moving. Any Dr. Chmielewski has cleaned out my lungs 4 times now of nodules. My nurses. I mean. Where do I even begin. They are just THE BEST. There are too many to name, but they truly make Rush a great place to be.
The money that is raised from this event goes to fund research at the Rush Cancer Center, which is so very important to me. Please consider donating to my team!