Survivor Story: Janet Swickard

By. Erika Heeren

This week’s survivor story is Janet Swickard. Janet is a survivor of 4th stage lymphoma in her lungs.

“I am a walking miracle.”

It started at church on Valentine’s Day 2012 when Janet could not project her voice when singing. A simple chest x-ray showed that she had something in both lungs.

After a CT scan, lung biopsy and PET scan, it was determined that she had several tumors in her lungs.

“It was a scary time,” Janet explained.

“I was sent to Dr. Karl Schultheiss at St. Alphonsis Oncology Department. He developed a plan to get me well. My first chemotherapy went well but because there were so many tumors, he admitted me to the hospital. There was so much debris that had to go through my kidneys. He explained that in these cases, the kidneys could shut down for a while. That would require dialysis. We were trying to not put me through that. So, he pushed fluids and it worked.”

Janet was given six rounds of chemo from early March until July 5, 2012.

Since then, her CT scans have shown something in each lung, but not growing.

“I believe my ‘cocktail’ was the right one and I will be fine. I have to admit that each time I have trouble breathing, my thoughts return to cancer.”

Janet continues to go to support group because she says it’s a source of comfort to meet with people who can relate to her story

“I live each day to the fullest, because cancer has made me live more in the present. Each day is a gift and I am so thankful to still be here!”

Stories like Janet’s will affect more than 8500 new patients in this year alone. Survival rates have improved, but additional research is vital to winning the battle against lymphoma.

Join us on May 21 at the Boise Centre as we celebrate our survivors, remember those who we’ve lost, and raise funding for cancer research at Betting on a Cure, A Night in Monte Carlo. Tickets are still available! Get yours today!

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