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Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Success Story

aaron wheeler
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2016

Hello fellow friends,


I would like to share this biblical passage with you in hopes that it will help each of you as much as it has me.  The scripture is 1 Corinthians 10:13.  The passage basically tells you that God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear and when you are tempted , he will provide a way out so that you can endure. I love this passage because it has helped me pushed through my low points while going through treatment.


I grew up as a regular kid who had a knack for sports; basketball and football to be exact. I use to have big dreams of playing in the NBA one day but I always knew I would play sports in college. So fast-forward to 2008 when I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school. I was playing on the football team just like everyone else but one day in the shower I noticed a little bump in my groin area. I disregarded it for like a week but I noticed it kept getting bigger as the days passed, so I ended up telling my mom about it.  So of course we thought nothing of it and figured it was just a hernia because I had just started lifting weights. A week goes by and I am still playing football and going to school but my mom gets me an appointment with a doctor to have the bump examined.  The doctor prescribed an antibiotic but didn’t seem overly alarmed.  The antibiotic didn’t have any affect on the bump so the doctor then decided to have an ultrasound and blood work done.  The ultrasound showed a swollen lymph node.  He then referred us to a surgeon to have the lymph node removed.  It took me about a month to get in to see the surgeon.  As the surgeon was examining the lymph node we wasn’t overly concerned and gave my mom 3 options.  The first option was just to observe the node and see what happens.  The second  was to wait until football season was over and the third option was to remove the node in the office that day.  My mom chose to have the node removed that day even though we were playing our cross town rival in 2 days.  The surgeon said I should be fine by game day.  I was not happy at all with her decision but (praise the lord) for it.  I ended up playing the game, scoring a touchdown and having over a 100 receiving yards in the win.  As soon as the game was over, the surgeon took me into the locker room to look at the area where the lymph node has been removed.  After he looked the area over, I continued on with celebrating the win with my team.  During that time, the doctor was telling my mother the results of the biopsy.  The athletic trainer ask me to back into his office, and when I stepped in I could see my entire family in there and everybody looking sad.  I instantly start asking questions about what was happening.  I didn’t understand why everyone looked so sad because we had just won and I played good.   The surgeon told me that I had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  The crazy part is I didn’t even flinch or get scared. I think it was because I didn’t know the severity of the situation.  I then ask the surgeon 2 questions.  "Will I die?" and "Will I still be able to play sports?"  He said I would not die and that I could play sports again just not at that time.  All I wanted to know was what I had to do to get rid of it.

The surgeon was a great guy!  He set everything up for my family before he even gave us the diagnosis.  We didn’t have to decide where to receive treatment, etc., all we had to do was get in the car and drive to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. When I got their I was confused and used to ask questions like "How did I get cancer" or ask “Why me?”  I have to say St. Jude’s was a major blessing for my family.  They take care of all your basic need and would answer any question you had about cancer or they treatments I was taking. The doctors told me I had caught the cancer early and said I was between Stage 2 and Stage 3.  My treatment plan was going to take 4 months and then I would be able to go back to school and resume playing sports.  After that I stopped looking at myself as a victim and felt like I was blessed because I had met kids that had it worse than me.  I found beauty in the struggle and chose to embrace it and kick cancers butt. When I was getting my first dose of chemo I couldn’t feel anything or even tell anything was going on. I was blessed to have a strong immune system so I bounced back quickly.  I did  fear losing my hair because I had a Mohawk with designs in my head at the time and I didn’t want to lose that lol. So as I continued on through my 3rd chemo treatment my hair started falling out and my white blood cells were bouncing back quickly. I still remained in good spirits.  I was wanted to get back to school for my freshman year basketball season. I had got the good news after my 4th treatment and found out I was cancer free.  I was excited but the doctor told me we still had to finish the last chemo round for safety measure. I was blessed to never throw up or get sick during chemo but by the time I started the last round of chemo it had taken a toll.  It took almost 30 days to get my count to get high enough to start my last round of chemo.   I actually got to return to school and finish the last month of my freshman year.  I received a lot of love and support when I got back.


I ended up starting on the basketball team for three years and getting a scholarship to play at a Division 2 school out of high school, but in my heart I knew I could play Division 1. I ended up transferring to a community college and playing really well, graduating with my associate degree and receiving a Division 1 scholarship.  I played their two seasons and finished out my NCAA eligibility and graduating with a Bachelor’s degree.  I majored in Communication and my minor is in Psychology.  I want anyone who reads this to know that anything is possible and to not let cancer define you or defeat you as a person. If you put God first and believe he will provide you with all of your needs.  I think it goes back to the saying 'God will not put more on you than you can handle".  Also everyone is on this earth for a reason.  I was raised as an only child by a single mother. If you search for reasons why you can or can’t succeed in life you  find them.  I want to encourage everyone to look at what we’ve been through and to realize that we are blessed to be alive because not everyone has beat cancer.  I always thought my calling on earth was basketball until about a year ago.  The Lord showed me I have a story to tell and I want to help and inspire everyone to get fighting and know better days are coming and most important believe in yourself. We have a purpose and everyone has a talent, so don’t let anyone tell you different. WE ARE SURVIVORS!!




Have a blessed day,


Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

Great story.

A coworker had Stage IV lymphoma when he was about 16 in high school, also a great sports guy. Went from around 200 to arounnd 100 pounds on the treatments.

Did months of MOPP ( a combo seldom used anymore) and got , clean, now for about 30 years.


Mary from NJ's picture
Mary from NJ
Posts: 60
Joined: Apr 2016

Thank you for sharing your story! I have accepted my lymphoma diagnosis well thanks to my faith and trust in God. The power of prayer is amazing! I believe it is my new purpose in life to support and encourage all who go through treatment for cancer. Good luck to you and please continue to encourage others!

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2016

Thank you for the encouragement.  I was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma in October, 2016.  I have had 1 round of chemo and start my 2nd one on this coming Tuesday.   I'm scared and your story really encouraged me.

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

Weclome Cindy.

Beginning chemo was daunting to everyone who ever did so I suspect.

Share and ask questions as you move forwward, and folks will respond with info that might be of assistance to you . What strain of lymphoma do you have ? What chemo combination are you on ?


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