Living With…Episode 024 Lauren Bourdon, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Survivor

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Keeping My Light

Welcome to the show everyone! I hope you are all well!
My guest today was diagnosed at the age of 22 in June 2013 with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Although typically treated with a type of targeted chemotherapy, her marrow remained genetically mutated and unhealthy after a year of trying every drug available on the market.
In August, 2014 she was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital for a stem cell transplant. She received a week of conditioning chemotherapy before receiving her sister’s perfectly HLA matched stem cells.
She is a psychologist and the author of the popular blog Keeping My Light, where she chronicles her cancer journey. Her blog covers chemotherapy tips and tricks, favorite resources, neutropenic diet guidelines and most importantly offers hope and inspiration for others going through similar situations.
Now to tell us all about her cancer journey, please welcome Lauren Bourdon to the show.

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Living With…Episode 023 Jessica Oldwyn, Brain Tumor Survivor

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Toom-ah? What Stinkin’ Toom-ah!

Welcome to the show everyone. I hope you are all well!
My guest today is the author of the popular brain tumor blog Toom-ah? What Stinkin’ Toom-ah! She’s a committed cancer advocate and fundraiser.
She was diagnosed on April 13th, 2010 at the age of 29, with a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. The tumor was classified as an infiltrating /diffuse astrocytoma, a type of glioma.
Several days later an awake craniotomy was performed, with follow-up emergency surgery shortly thereafter. After the tumor resection it was discovered that a new tumor was growing.
Another tumor resection was performed in October 2012. Since then, she has endured five years of newcastle virus and dendrite cell therapy.

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Living With…Episode 022 Benjamin Rubenstein, Ewing’s Sarcoma & Myelodysplasia Survivor

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The Cancer Slayer

Welcome to the show everyone! I hope you are all well!
My guest today is a speaker and the author of the CancerslayerBlog and two books, TWICE How I Became A Cancer-Slaying Super Man Before I Turned 21, as well as,  Secrets of the Cancer-Slaying Super Man. His work has also been cited by Newsweek and the New York Times.
At the age of 16, he experienced hip pain as a talented tennis player and student living in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma a rare form of cancer, usually found in teenagers and young adults.
“Benjamin believed that he was no Sick Kid but a super-powered hero who had a unique ability to withstand the toxic chemicals of cancer therapy and preserve his healthy cells while zapping the round-celled malignancy that had invaded his body.”
The aggressive treatment he received at the NIH saved his life and he went on to attend the University of Virginia. Unfortunately, a follow-up CBC revealed that his bone marrow was damaged due to all of the treatments he had received. He had myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease near and dear to my heart.
For the second time he took on cancer’s challenge and won.

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Living With…Episode 021 Ellie Philpotts, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor

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Welcome to the show everyone! I hope you are all well!
My guest today was diagnosed at the age of 15 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  In July 2010, she started to experience symptoms of the disease and didn’t finish treatment until May 2011.
Symptoms included itchy hands and feet and shortness of breath when walking short distances and climbing stairs. She was also experiencing a loss of appetite, weight loss, night sweats and had developed a lump in her neck. She was initially diagnosed with the flu, but she was soon hospitalized for nine days and diagnosed with Stage 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Despite her condition she was determined to not miss school and at times would receive treatment there.  Treatment included chemotherapy and steroids, leaving her with neutropenia, hair loss, and compromised immunity.
Despite all of this, she never gave up the fight and is now four and a half years in remission.

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