Hodgkin’s Lymphoma- NOT the “Curable Cancer”-A Journey – A Request
In my many years of writing for various print and electronic media requests for help or publicizing fundraisers for various causes have come across my desk in the den. To be perfectly frank with you all this latest request makes me feel awkward because it is for one of the people who holds my heart hostage and has done so since before the day he first drew a breath.
Some of you will know of the journey of horror and pain since that first phone call in February 2008
Ironically , the Drs. all said :
” if you have to have cancer this is the one you want”
“it is the curable cancer – 95 percent and you only have to have 4 to 6 cycles of chemo and some spot radiation to be sure”
So the journey of chemo and radiation started and this time last year we were looking at hope for the future…… BUT the symptoms of Hodgkins persisted , it took weeks for the Drs. to actually believe it wasn’t the effects of the flu or to do with the radiation side effects ….. our New Year of hope ended with the results…. it was back!!!!!……( if indeed it had ever truly left.)
Then came the barrage of tests and treatment once again, this time at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus – Lymphoma unit. We had one of the very best hospitals and a course of action –
radical intensive chemo – to knock it out once and for all- then more chemo – a harvesting of stem cells from the bone marrow with radiation of those cells- TWO stem cell transplants ( done in tandem- one of the latest procedures-
Although painful and debilitating with weeks in the hospital – it was worth it to get rid of this obscenity that had insinuated itself into my son’s body and wreaked havoc and despair in all of those of us that love him.
But before even his hair and nails grew back the “curable cancer was back” - once again Drs. were taken aback – tests done for everything, fungus, viral , bacterial infections but NO! it was the damned “Curable Hodgkin’s Lymphoma”- the “curable Cancer ‘ that survived and continued to kill.
The specialist told us that the conventional treatment had been all but exhausted- his immune system does not see the >”curable cancer” as a threat.
I have since found out that this disease that effects the young ages 14 to 35 isn’t quite the “nice” cancer people think. It , like all cancer, should be treated as a powerful adversary waiting to kill body , hope and soul.
Now we find ourselves once more on a journey – to Houston – Texas- MD Anderson- where we were fortunate enough to be given just a glimmer of hope with a “trial treatment” of SGN 35 – being an experiment and a trial- we , (and I say we because Cancer effects all of those that love )- don’t know projected time lines or responses . All we do know is that we have to try. Apart from the medical expenses, having to stay in Houston for weeks and also flying back and forth is adding to the ripple effects of ever growing expenses.
As you can imagine the costs are escalating for this young couple- both emotionally and financially – family members and friends have come together to help defray at least some of the expenses so to that end- I am finally getting to the point of this blog.
FUNDRAISER FOR CHRIS
When – Sunday – OCTOBER 25TH -1:00 -5:00
Where- Rosewood Place- 4493 Oberlin Avenue- Lorain Ohio 44053
What – Spaghetti Dinner- Silent Auction – 50/50 raffle – Browns Game ( on a big screen TV)
How Much – $15.00 – kinds under 5 eat free.
Tickets and or reservations – please call Nikki -440-282-3195 – Rich – 440-245-8752 or 440-989-5141 –
If you are unable to attend but would still like to contribute there has been an account set up “Friends of Chris Ritchey ” First Federal Savings and Loan of Lorain- 3721 Oberlin Avenue, Lorain, Ohio 44053
You may also purchase tickets
Jenkins and Bevans Insurance – 47375 Cooper Foster Park Road – Amherst 44001
Marsha Funk State Farm Insurance- 3004 Oberlin Ave. Lorain – 44052