My word for 2023 was PAUSE.
2022 was a whirlwind and I realized that the farther out from the clinical trial, the diagnosis, and full-time healing, the busier I became. Settling into old habits of saying yes to too many things, volunteering, “mom”ing, consulting, and schooling!
In September, I am proud to say that I received my certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach! It’s something I have been working on for a year, but had the passion for it since 2019. This was definitely blessing in disguise #1… my Passion turned into Purpose.
I started the year wanting to focus on my family and my building a health coaching business. But when an old friend asked me to join her team to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I absolutely couldn’t say no.
I am so glad I said YES to this.
I was honored to be selected as one of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2023 Visionaries of the Year candidates! I’m excited to share that the fundraising competition has 3 more weeks, I am raising as many dollars as possible to support cancer research and patient resources.
As you may know, I was diagnosed with Stage III Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November of 2016. After 5 rounds of conventional standard of care chemotherapy, my situation turned south. Unfortunately, Cancer is smart, and it had transformed from a nonaggressive type to a very rare subtype of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma called Double Hit Lymphoma. Additional high dose chemotherapy kept things at bay, but over time the disease became resistant to the drugs.
Excerpt from my CaringBridge Journal (6/17/2017):
“I was numb yesterday when Dr. Rosenthal told us that the tumor was only very slightly improved, but essentially unchanged. As she continued to speak, I thought to myself, “of course it’s not gone, that would be too much to ask.” Negativity crept into my body and stayed there awhile. And yes, the questions started coming, “Why, why, why can’t I catch a break?” “Why won’t this cancer just go away?” “I am doing everything right, what more can I do?”
I was desperate for solutions and running out of time. With a poor prognosis, days and weeks made a difference and time was not on my side.
I was on chemotherapy every 4 weeks for 5 days at a time hooked up 24/7. I had to wrap myself in Press n’ Seal to take showers… who knew that the Glad products company would be doing so much business inside hospitals.
I didn’t know what to do.
There wasn’t anyone in the hospital system that helped patients to research clinical trials at that time. Things were looking VERY bleak.
I called the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and a young woman helped me research all the existing clinical trials that were available to me. And OH MY GOSH… it was a glimpse of HOPE!
I was able to start making phone calls, getting on lists, making appointments to find a trial. I had given myself the unofficial title of manager of the “Save Kay” campaign.
I finally got into a CAR-T cell therapy clinical trial (to which LLS has donated over $40 MILLION DOLLARS to date), changed my diet & lifestyle, and almost 7 years later by God’s grace I am still here.
I am alive and thriving… and excited to tell this story and how grateful I am to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Scan Now to donate!!
My goal is to raise $10,000. Please join me in making a difference in the fight against blood cancer. Cast your vote by donating on my personal fundraising webpage here: https://pages.lls.org/voy/ntx/dfw23/kblackburn or also accessible by scanning the QR code with your phone.
PLEASE Be sure to check to see if your company has a matching gifts program – YOU COULD DOUBLE YOUR DONATION !!!
I appreciate your support so much!
Onward and Upward,