A few years ago on a mild overcast late winter day, I took to the cross-country trails near my home and came across a bunch of oak leaves that had fallen on the trail. I was struck by the contrast of brown leaves on the granular snow and the pearls of melting water on the leaves. I have kept this image in my mind ever since. I do not know why, but today it has taken on a new significance for me.
The oak leaf is a symbol that was adopted for Lymphoma Foundation Canada’s logo. It is a symbol for lymphoma awareness. It represents the strength, endurance, perseverence. The deep-roots of the oak tree, which are traits that lymphoma patients need and draw upon during their diagnosis and treatment process. The oak leaf also survives heavy rains, blistering winds, and the strong sun. It stretches its branches that reach out far and wide.
I would like to encourage the readers of this blog to support Lymphoma Foundation Canada (LFC), which commemorates the annual Worldwide Lymphoma Awareness Day on September 15th every year. The funds go directly to Lymphoma research and education. http://www.nhlcyberfamily.org/oakleaf.htm
I also encourage readers to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLC) , which supports research and patients with blood cancers.
My name is Donald. In March 2012, I was diagnosed with an advanced stage of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (Stage IV DLBCL, CD20-negative). Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of our immune system. What I have is considered to be a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma. Following this discovery, I have undergone a course of chemotherapy that is just as aggressive. Today, I had my 8th and final round of scheduled chemotherapy. I am happy to report that I my oncologists consider that I am responding well to the chemotherapy. But the battle is not over yet!
To mark this milestone in my journey with cancer, I have set out to write about my experience for the purpose of informing family, friends and relatives of my progress. In doing so, I hope this will provide encouragement and inspiration to others touched by lymphomas and other forms of blood cancer.
In writing this blog, my aim is to share some of the aspects of this journey with cancer, including some reflections, impressions, tips and resources that have helped me deal with and accept this Life changing challenge. I invite you to follow me on this journey. Please post any comments or questions you may have directly on this.
A French language version of this blog is in preparation.