Northside Hospital - Local woman battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma found treatment for cancer radiation damage at Northside Hospital

Local woman battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma found treatment for cancer radiation damage at Northside Hospital

Posted on: May 29, 2019


A college student at Texas Tech and six hours from home, Jenifer found herself coping with the daunting challenge of battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 19-years-old.

Diagnosed in April of her sophomore year, Jenifer was determined to defy her doctor’s recommendation that she forgo the end of her semester and put off a year of college.

She began her treatment May of ’91 – and following a difficult semester – was declared cancer-free that fall.

Twenty five years later at 44-years-old, Jenifer began to feel unwell. She visited her primary care physician for a suspected case of bronchitis. Chest X-rays revealed thyroid nodules, which were determined benign after biopsy. Additional chest pain gave cause for concern with her heart.

Jenifer was referred to Northside Hospital’ s cardio-oncology program, where she met Northside Hospital Cardiovascular Care’s Dr. Kimberly Champney. Further tests revealed that Jenifer’s chest pains were tied to anginal heart spasms, from blockages in her arteries surrounding the heart, as well as mitral valve regurgitation – damage and symptoms from cancer radiation treatment in her teens. She also underwent surgery on her carotid artery in 2018.

No one told you about your heart health following cancer at 19,” she said. “I finished treatment and went to follow-ups for the next 10 years, but no one said I had anything to worry about.”’

Now recovering from her cancer treatment and subsequent surgery, Jenifer says she is grateful to have made it here. “It’s a lot to have dealt with,” she said, “but now that I know what to check for, I’m more hopeful.”

When asked that she might provide advice for those experiencing a similar health struggle, Jenifer notes that while it’s thrilling to rid yourself of disease, it’s not the end, and follow-up is extremely important.

Just because you’re cured does not mean that a second cancer or major organ problems won’t affect you,” she said, further adding that “you need a plan.”

*The health story shared here may portray atypical results of survival for this type of cancer, given its severity and stage. Atypical results are considered surviving a cancer that has less than a 50 percent five-year survival rate. Patients should consult an expert to discuss specific treatment plans and the possible outcomes before making medical decisions.

Filed under: Cancer, Patient Stories,


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