Hometown: Eastern Passage, NS
Adam was a strong supporter for his girlfriend Krista.
What school did/do you attend?
High School: Cole Harbour District High University: Dalhousie Private College: Success College of Arts and Technology
Are you working?
Part time, Canadian Forces Reserves
What is/are your career goal(s)?
My goal is to become a Police Officer.
Your Cancer experience
Who did you support with cancer?
I supported, and still am supporting, my girlfriend Krista. She is the kindest, sweetest and most beautiful woman I have ever known.
How did you find out about the cancer? What event(s) led to the diagnosis?
It was in August 2006. I was away that summer for training with the reserves at the Military Police Academy in Borden, Ontario. We had an idea that something wasn’t quite right before I left, but I just kept telling myself it wasn’t anything serious. Krista, being an ultrasound student at Dalhousie, had access to an ultrasound machine and an experienced professor. He scanned her neck after she had noticed the lumps. He advised that she see a doctor. So she takes the advice, CT scans are done and later, a biopsy. A few weeks later she gets a call to come in and see her doctor. It is August 9th, 2006, and she is officially diagnosed with Mixed Cellularity Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I found out about this when I made one of my regular calls home to see how everything was. This is when she tells me. I was miles away in another Province, on a military training course.
What year was it? How old were you?
It was 2006 and I was 20 years old.
What kind of cancer was he/she first diagnosed with?
Mixed Cellularity Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
What were your first thoughts when you found out about the diagnosis?
I didn’t know what to think. I just sat there on the phone, I couldn’t even say anything. There was just this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, I felt like throwing up. I couldn’t wait for my course to finish so I could see her again.
How did your family react?
My family actually found out before me, Krista and her parents went to visit my parents that day they found out. They were shocked, but they continue to support both of us.
How did your friends react? Did your friends begin treating you different?
As I said, I was away on course when I found out so the only friends around were the others training with me. I told most of them and one of the instructors and they were all very supportive and helped me keep myself together for remainder of the course.
How did you support him/her with cancer?
Just being there for her, loving her and being someone she can talk to. Before she was diagnosed and before I left for Borden, Krista was doing an Ultrasound clinical for school in Holland. She was home only for a few weeks just to leave for PEI, and I left for Ontario before she came back home. We go three months without really seeing each other, during which time she was diagnosed and now the treatment. We’ve made it through all of this and I am still as much in love with her as the day we met. I know now we can make it through anything together. Love is a very powerful weapon in the fight against cancer, and it can get you through even the toughest times in life.
Do you know what the treatment consisted/consists of?
Describe the medical side (chemo, radiation, in-patient, out-patient)
She’s undergoing Chemotherapy as an out-patient, 12 treatments over a six month period, once every two weeks. About a month after her chemo is finished she will do 17 treatments of radiation therapy. I know she has a very hard time with the side effects of chemo, specifically the nausea.
Describe the non-medical side (how you felt emotionally, physical side-effects, exhaustion for example)
Very drained emotionally. I know this has been a very hard time for her but recently she’s becoming much more positive, especially as the chemo nears its end. This has also been a very emotionally draining experience for me.
In which Hospital(s) was he/she treated?
Victoria General Hospital (QEII)
What was the outcome?
So far, positive. She is still doing treatment. With one more chemo session and then radiation.
How is life different for you now that you have had a cancer experience?
I know now not to take anything for granted. I appreciate everything much more now, especially the joy of a loving relationship.
What was the hardest thing about adjusting to life after a cancer diagnosis?
I think mostly trying to balance everything. Finding time to spend with Krista, but also trying to find time for school and work.
What is/was the toughest part of having a cancer experience?
Just knowing that she had to go through such a harsh experience. She didn’t deserve this. If it was an option, I would have switched places with her in a second.
What is/was the best part about having a cancer challenge?
The best part was finding out how much she really appreciates me. Also, realizing how much I actually did love her. I think this whole experience has really drawn us closer together.
What really motivated you to keep going while he/she was sick?
To see how happy she will be when it’s all over. Knowing that we still have an entire lifetime to spend with each other.
What lessons or messages have you taken away from your experience?
Never take anything or anyone for granted. You never know what might happen.
What are your thoughts and feelings about cancer now? How has your perception changed since before you were faced with a challenge?
My perception hasn’t really changed, that is, it was never a negative perception to begin with. All I can say is that I’ve experienced first hand the suffering that cancer can bring to someone.
What are some (if there are any you know of) preventative measures that people can take to lower their risk of having an experience?
Just try to live an overall healthy lifestyle. There’s not really much that can be done to prevent lymphoma. But a healthy lifestyle can prevent many others. And for the love of God people, QUIT SMOKING!!!!!
Did you attend any support groups during your challenge?
How are you connected with Young Adult Cancer?
I found out about the site from Krista. We’re hoping to go to Retreat Yourself 2007.