A Port In The Storm | Safe, Affordable accommodations for critical illness patients - Winnipeg, Canada

Stories - Yvette

My name is Yvette and I just turned 60 in April. This birthday was very special compared to my 44th birthday in 1995 when I was in the hospital for a biopsy. After weeks of tests, scans, bone marrow biopsy I was told I had stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The day you hear the "C" word feels like the end of the world. I went from tears, to why me, to feeling sorry for myself- I then picked myself up and fought for my life. For six months it's chemo, nausea, hair loss and more tests. The next 11 years with more treatments we're able to keep the cancer under control, then one day in January 2006 after not being able to fight off a cold my oncologist sent me to the "Manitoba Blood and Marrow Transplant Program" Cancer Care at HSC. When Nurse Michelle mentioned "transplant" I said "No way am I getting that done".."what are your options" answered Michelle "1..Keep having more and stronger chemo. 2..Do nothing and wait to die. 3..Stem cell transplant." So transplant it is, once I made up my mind I want it done now. But first we need a donor, luckily my brother Paul was a perfect match, what a gift!

Another tough decision was to sell our house and move to Winnipeg, (we were told I could not go back home for at least 3 months after my transplant. So now between more chemo we have to sell our house, find a house, pack etc.. Please someone I need to get off this roller coaster ride. Another set back, pet scan found a tumor on my kidney, now I need radiation. I do believe things happen for a reason, this set back gave us more time, I have my life to sort out and pack away.

Okay, so our house sold, I have to be in the hospital for Oct. 5th. We bought a house, it needs some TLC which will get done while I'm in the hospital. I've run out of time , ...this is when our wonderful family and friends come in, they help finish the packing while I'm in the hospital having a chemo party. The morning of Oct. 5th my brother Paul was bringing me in, saying goodbye to my two dogs and leaving my house and home for the last time was a pretty emotional day.

While I'm in the hospital Joe (hubby) organizes an auction, helps contractor with renovations at our new house, runs in to see me, then realizes he needs to take a stress leave from work.

Oct. 12th is transplant (stem cell) day, thank you Paul! So now we wait for my counts to go up enough to leave the hospital which finally happens Oct 26th., but where do I go. I have no immune system and can't move in our house since the renovations are not finished, we can't even hammer a nail in the wall or paint for the first year post transplant. Brother/Sister in-law to the rescue.

We could not have gone through this journey without the help of our family and friends, the great team at Cancer Care and our strong faith. Having a place to stay after my transplant would have made things so much easier for us, we would not have sold our house during this stressful time. I've been lucky to have had this second chance especially after I was told when I was diagnosed there was no remission for the type of Lymphoma I had, and turning 60 is wonderful, every day is a gift...