Janey was diagnosed with
acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2002
Before my diagnosis with cancer, I had been working less than a year in my new career as a registered
massage therapist. After conquering a serious phobia, I had learned how to drive at the age of 38. My
husband and I had recently bought a house and were attempting to have our first child. We had been fortunate
enough to travel some of the world. Life seemed to be unfolding exactly how we had envisioned it.
Exactly one year after 9-11, I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). I was not shocked
that I had cancer by the time that day came but I was confused by the type. I had known from ultrasound
results that I had lesions on my liver so I had already suspected the worst-case scenario. However, in the
wee hours of the morning, when the Emergency resident finally told me it was leukemia, I was definitely
taken aback. I thought, “Wasn’t that a childhood disease that I had seen on TV telethons?” It took awhile
to process the information and I had time alone to wait until a few hours later to tell my
husband, Karl. I quietly whispered to him that our worst fear had come true. The dreaded “C” word was said.
The treatment protocol for ALL takes an extremely long time so my new career
came to a grinding halt to undergo chemotherapy and cranial radiation. Treatment
became my new full-time job. I spent my time hospitalized or receiving chemo
or radiation at outpatient clinics. After each bout of chemo I developed a
complication so I was hospitalized each time. My social life was interacting with
fellow patients or the hospital staff. Everyone who worked at each of those three
hospitals was absolutely wonderful. Surely they are all angels here on earth sent
to make our lives a little easier....