Kristen Swanner was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 15, while a sophomore at old James A. Cawood High School. Now at the age of 23, she is grateful for her life and her “miracle children.”
“I was scared,” said Swanner. “I just knew I had to fight it. I didn’t have a choice. I never thought it was going to kill me. I had four rounds of chemotherapy and 28 days of radiation initially.”
Swanner said after her treatments she “went into remission.” She said four years later, the cancer relapsed.
“I relapsed in 2008,” said Swanner. “I had to do more treatments and a stem cell transplantation. I was 19 years old. In November of that same year they put me back into remission and I’ve been in remission since that time. I’d like to commend the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Lexington, where I practically lived during my treatments. They treated me just like family at a time when I really needed that kind of attention.”
Swanner said when she was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 15, doctors told her there was a small chance she “might be able to have children.”
“When I relapsed at age 19, the treatments were more harsh and the fertility specialist told me and my husband we would not be able to conceive a child,” said Swanner. “They were wrong, because shortly after that, about a year and a half later, I gave birth to my little miracle baby Gabriel.”
Not only was Swanner and her husband blessed with a “miracle son,” but she is now pregnant with a little girl due in four months.
“I still have follow up scans,” said Swanner. “I do this because the doctors require it even though I know in my heart I have been healed of this cancer. I give credit to God for my healing and my two children. The journey has been tough at times, but I never lost my faith in God that everything would turn out to be alright. The treatments were hard and I had to have help from God to get through them. I think I fought this disease differently than a lot of people who don’t have the strength of God to help them. I wouldn’t trade having cancer — because of cancer I look at life differently. I think I appreciate life more than I would have if I hadn’t had this disease. I’d like to say to those battling cancer, your journey will be easier if you put your faith in a higher power.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org