Staying strong for the fight

Dear Editor: How do you start a letter that will tell you about my cancer’ In the beginning, I have always had blood problems, but this time there was something different’I could feel it. My usual blood count was always around seven grams. I was having a hard time keeping it up. My local doctor sent me to a hematologist in San Angelo. He gave me blood and said I had to go to Dallas, Houston or San Antonio. He didn’t know what was the matter with me. Where was I going to go’ I went back to my local doctor, whose nurse told me about a doctor her husband went to. She made the appointment for Dr. Richard Lyons at Cancer Care network. Dr. Lyons was so booked up that I got to see Dr. Greg Guzley. I walked into his office with a blood count of 2.8 grams (hemoglobin). He did the test three times because he couldn’t believe I could walk; I should have been on a stretcher. He admitted me to Methodist Hospital right then and ordered two tests: bone marrow and a CBC chemical panel. That was Nov. 11, 1997, and later that night, the doctor told me I had ALL (acute lymphatic leukemia). He said it was curable, if I lived through chemotherapy and radiation and had no out-breaks for five years. I’m working on my 10th year after going through hell with all the chemo. I was left with nerve damage in my lower legs, and I have no bone marrow (which makes blood for the body), so I get three units of blood every three weeks at Methodist Hospital, and I deal with the nerve damage with medication. I thank the good Lord, my family and the doctors, and I’m grateful that I’m a survivor! JUDY GOTT P.S.’A strong attitude is what I used to fight cancer.

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