The beginning of my journey with Hodgkin Lymphoma

It was nothing. I was overreacting, being paranoid, and doing a little too much Google self-diagnosing. But what if? No, it could never happen to me. Plus, I’m so young and have always been healthy. Yeah, I’m definitely overreacting.

I don’t even know how I found it, but in November 2016, I felt a lump just above my left collarbone that would change my life as I knew it.

I didn’t know what to think of it at first, but I didn’t make a big deal about it. Fast forward a month- the lump was still there. At this point, I was a little concerned and I did the only thing I could think of… I went to Google for answers. I knew I shouldn’t have. I mean, you can talk yourself into having ANY disease on the internet. Still, after reading the symptoms and believing that I fit them perfectly, I cried. I called my older sister and told her what was going on, then I cried some more. I got in to see a doctor as soon as I could. The doctor asked me about my symptoms and did a quick ultrasound. He didn’t seem worried at all and just chalked it up to be a swollen lymph node due to a cold. I felt a little silly leaving the office because he made me feel like I was over reacting to a simple cold. 

That Google search really stuck with me for the next few months. I could just tell something wasn’t right, but I kept making excuses for the things that felt “off” to me. For example, I’ve never been the type of person to get sick a lot, but after finding that lump, I felt myself feeling almost constantly ill. I would finally get over one illness and a week later, be back to feeling bad again. I also felt so tired all the time, but I blamed it on my schedule. I wake up at 2:30 AM for work everyday, but the tiredness I was feeling was more than just not getting enough sleep. It was an extreme fatigue. It was hard to get out of my apartment on some days. Then there were nights I found myself having really bad night sweats which, apparently, is a big indicator of lymphoma. Even then, I would blame it on my apartment just being a little too hot that night. I wish I had listened to my body a little more closely.

Back to my story, let’s fast forward two more months- I found another lump near my right collarbone. I happened to be at work when I found it and was seconds away from appearing on TV to do my next weather report. I started panicking and I felt my eyes swell up with tears. I took a few deep breaths and choked back the tears as best as I could while my floor director started counting down from our commercial break. 10…9…8… How am I going to make it through the next 90 seconds? Nobody wants to watch a meteorologist on TV that isn’t happy and cheerful. Adrenaline started kicking in and I forced a smile 3…2…1… CUE. Nobody watching my show knew the internal battle I was having at that exact moment. That’s one of the hardest parts about my job. No matter what is going on in my personal life, I need to separate it from work. Somehow I managed to get through the last hour of our newscast with a smile on my face.

This new lump was different. I was really scared and finally decided to get back in to see another doctor. Since then, I’ve been stabbed with needles more times than I can count, I’ve had ultrasounds, an MRI, CT scan, PET scan, needle biopsy, and an excisional biopsy. I’ve been in a doctors’ offices more times in the past two months than I have in the past 5 years of my life. It was a lot of waiting and that was the hardest part.

Finally, on May 5, I got some answers. They weren’t the answers I wanted, but at least I finally knew what I was dealing with. I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

I decided to share my experience on live TV and you can watch the clip below. This was the hardest day of my career so far, but I’m hoping my story may help someone out there. Please always remember to listen to your body! I can’t say it enough- if you feel like something may be wrong, it probably is.

I don’t know what the road ahead will be like or even where I’ll be in a month. What I do know is I’ll get through this and I’ll be stronger than ever. I’m using this as my place to stay connected, share updates, and mostly, just as a therapeutic way to get things off my chest. I hope you’ll follow along on my journey with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

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79 thoughts on “The beginning of my journey with Hodgkin Lymphoma

  1. Crystal, thank you so much for sharing your story. So many of us either have dealt with this or knows someone who has. Praying for you for a successful recovery!

  2. I think your blog is a great idea! Sometimes we need to say things that are too horrible to say to another person. A blog is a safety valve. Know that people are here for you.

  3. Praying for you, God is a healer.
    I found out 9/2015 that I had early stage breast stage 0 or stage 1 but after having my mastectomy it was actually stage 3c and it was in my lymph nodes. I started Chemo in January of 1/2016 and I finished my Chemo 3/17/2017, also radiation. I’m in remission now.
    Just get rest and stay hydrated through Chemo.
    Blessings to you❤️

  4. Positive thoughts along your journey. You are not alone….Your audience is with You! #powerofpositivethinking #yougotthis #cancersucks

  5. The blog is very well done, a fantastic job, especially when the subject is dealing with your own illness. I have dealt with cancer 4 times in my family and once myself Mine was successfully treated, a long process, a bit of pain, but I said every day, it is just pain and as long as I wake up and I am not fodder for the worms, no matter what, my day is great. I am disabled at 57 with COPD, but the saying I used then, still holds true today. Stay positive, smile, enjoy each and every second of every day. There will be bad times, but you can make the brief, just mere blips in your day. Feel free to message me on here if you ever wanna chat. I will follow your journey, all the way till you ring that bell when you are done 🙂 Much love and many prayers 🙂

  6. Hi Crystal…I am Lisa and I commented on your email Saturday. I am praying for you daily. I will follow you and talk and share with you.

    1. Hi Crystal…I am Lisa and I commented on your email Saturday. I am praying for you daily. I will follow you and talk and share with you.

  7. You’re going to be just fine. We’re all here for you and will pray; morning, noon and night. And whatever God’s will for you will be done! I don’t know you but I most certainly will be praying for you and your family as you go through this time.

  8. I really think this will help you through this journey, and will change the life of someone that is going through the same thing is you. I know you will pull through this and be stronger than before.

  9. Bless your heart!! You are very brave! I have no doubt you will get through this! You will have some bad days for sure but all you have to do is keep climbing the mountain. Of course, I will be watching and rooting for you!!! Respect, Peter Lammers

  10. You’re going to beat this!! I’m 58 years old and was diagnosed with breast cancer in November. My future looks good, thanks to early detection and great doctors. One day at a time!!

  11. God bless you he is with you and hope you recover and you will beat this you are a beautiful person and a great meteorology person and i watch u every chance i get i pray 🙏 every chance i get love you ❤❤🌹🌹❤❤💋💋❤❤

  12. I am sorry to hear that, it’s the obstacles God puts in our paths for us to overcome. Your strong, and early detection helps. Thoughts and prayers for you and your fam.

  13. You always need to trust yourself when your body talks to you. As I am older now, understand your first thought will guide you through life. Remember this experience and learn. I wish you success in beating your illness. You are strong and stay strong even though you will doubt yourself many times.

  14. Please trust In God . I am following your journey and I am praying for you.. Just put your faith in God.

  15. We’re supporting you every step of the way, Crystal! Proud of you for being so open, so brave.

  16. Crystal I hope all is with you. Keep a positive attitude you are only as sick as you let your self be. You will bet it just fight the good fight.

  17. Thanks for sharing such a personal matter to help others. It can be such a tug of war between trying to tough it out when sick and knowing when it is time to take action. May God be your strength, your comfort, and your guidance.

  18. Crystal, I will keep you in my prayers…stay positive and continue to journal . And I will look forward to your return to WVEC when your treatments are over. May God hold you in his hands…

  19. I’m so glad you’ve decided to share with us. My daughter is 24 years old and I can’t imagine how scared you and your family must have been to find out your diagnosis. But you have a great, positive attitude. Please let us know how we can specifically pray for you.

  20. Great blog post. Honestly Crystal, I probably would have done a Google diagnosis too. I pray that you get better.

  21. Great Job sharing your feelings and fears. You do have an Outstanding attitude moving forward and I think you will be able to help people because of your experience. Inspirational. My prayers and good wishes are with you as you face this battle ahead!!!!

  22. You will help more people than you realize. Your courage will help them wit their struggles as you fight yours. We all are praying for you as you continue your fight. We need more people to do what you are doing. God bless

  23. You will help more people than you realize. Your courage will help them wit their struggles as you fight yours. We all are praying for you as you continue your fight. We need more people to do what you are doing. God bless

  24. Thank you for sharing your journey, Crystal. May your treatments bring you remission and healing quickly. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers.💗💗💗

  25. Oh my goodness! I love your blog. You are not only a meteorologist but a writer and a good one. I feel like I have known you a long time. Please keep writing. You are helping others out that could be going through the same thing! We love you Crystal and are praying for you always❤️☝️

  26. You are young and otherwise healthy, so I see the future as nightly but good. Prayers….

  27. You are a tough little lady and will pull through this. It won’t always be easy, good and bad days, but you are a fighter. Always remember that. I look forward to hearing you say “It’s over, I beat it.” Always know that people are pulling for you. You won my respect by the way you are facing this and trying to help others. I wish you all the best.

  28. My son was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was 20 and at college. I was his caregiver. We were already close but this made our bond even closer. He went through chemo and radiation, stayed in college, did work study and kept a 4.0 GPA. He is my hero, now 38 with a wife and 2 children.

  29. God bless you, Crystal, and He will see you triumphantly through this difficult time. Keep your faith, sweetheart, and I, along with your viewers, your family, coworkers, and close friends, will keep you in our thoughts and prayers every second. You are forever in our hearts

  30. You will stay in my prayers and always remember God is with you always. Praying that our great healer and creator will give you complete healing.

  31. Crystal, be inspired by all the replies you see on your first blog. We are here for you, there might be times when you feel down, we are here for you, to help you through this journey. Keep reaching out, you my positive thoughts and prayers.

  32. Crystal, I have watched you since you started at wvec. You are so cheerful and lovely. I am an early riser and look forward to seeing you, especially on the weekends. You certainly have the right attitude for dealing with this. I will be following you, praying for you and supporting you the whole way. Love the blog, well written!

  33. Crystal thank you so much for sharing. This form of cancer goes almost unnoticed by most people. My prayers are with you.

  34. Have followed you on social media since you were in Cheyenne. I will follow you here as well. Know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. You are such a light for so many and may we all turn around and be a light for you as you go through this. Keep the faith!

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