My Journey with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

I AM MORE THAN CANCER

Cancer Advocate - I am here for a reason and here to advocate and support other cancer patients that have been recently diagnosed.

When I was a young child, I always knew that I wanted to secure a position in the healthcare field. I thought about becoming a Social Worker, Psychologist, and even a Police Officer. I also knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world and serve others. When I graduated high school, I went directly to community college in Queens, New York for a year. Even at the young and tender age of 18, I did not have much direction in my life at that time. Fortunately, I was able to secure a Government position and worked in that field for 10 years when I decided to resign in 2000.

I had my son in July of 2000, and I was blessed that I was able to be a stay at home mother and take care of him while my husband worked. In October of 2000, I found the lump (lymph node) in my right groin area and went to my primary care physician before Thanksgiving. When I initially found the lump, I knew right away that I had cancer. It was just a knowing that I had deep down in my heart. When I went to my primary care physician he examined me and quickly made an emergency appointment for an ultrasound of my pelvis. I am so grateful that my doctor sent me immediately because when the results came back, the lymph node was growing at a rapid pace. Shortly after this, my primary care doctor had referred me to a surgeon and the surgeon scheduled the surgery to have my right lymph node removed and biopsied. Unfortunately, the test results came back positive for cancer, and I knew that it would.

I was then referred to an Oncologist in my neighborhood and had to have a CBC (Complete Blood Count) performed. When those results came back my WBC (White Blood Count) was 14,000. My Oncologist had scheduled me for a bone marrow aspiration to be performed in his office. With all of my cancer treatments that I had to endure, this aspiration was the most difficult for me. Even though my Oncologist gave me a local, I still felt the pain. Even though the pain only lasted about two minutes, I have to say that those two minutes were vital to my treatments.

Before I began my chemotherapy in January 2001, I had to have a bone scan and a CT (Catscan), to ensure that the cancer did not spread to any other part of my body. After all of the tests came back, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage 1, Large Diffuse B Cell. The protocol for treatment was as follows: three months of CHOP therapy and four weeks of radiation.

And here I am, 18 years later and I am a survivor. Once I finished my treatments, I decided to go back to school online with SUNY Empire State College in 2004 and had acquired my Bachelors in Community & Human Services, and graduated in May 2013. Since I loved healthcare so much and wanted to serve others for my best and highest good, I decided to pursue my Masters in Healthcare Administration Management with Southern New Hampshire University and graduated in January 2016. On July 11, 2018, I generated my business online as a Cancer Advocate at Michele Cerami’s Cancer Advocate Services. I am here for a reason and here to advocate and support other cancer patients that have been recently diagnosed.

ABOUT Michele

Bio

  • Astoria

Diagnosis

  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Primary Treatment

  • Chemotherapy

Primary Cancer Center

  • Other

ENCOURAGE OTHERS!

Tell others in our community about yourself and your journey, and consider sharing great moments and lessons learned to help them become MORE THAN cancer.

>>Add your story & make a difference.

Learn

Read Our Stories

Experience inspiring stories from our patients, family caregivers, physicians and others.

Encourage

Share Your Story

Tell others about yourself and your journey; inspire them to be MORE THAN CANCER.

Act

Advocate For Change

Engage with others and advance important causes by advocating for change.

Donate

Help Fund Love

Share a gift in any amount to help our research and education missions.

Featured Stories

FundLove Presents: I Am More Than Cancer Campaign for

How My Body and I Are Meeting Cancer

Given the opportunity to heal, our bodies have superhuman powers.
by Katie Bobka

FundLove Presents: I Am More Than Cancer Campaign for

A Soldier's Fight Continues When She Returns Home

I would soon be putting my M16 down and picking up the harsh treatments of chemotherapy
by Brandi Benson

FundLove Presents: I Am More Than Cancer Campaign for

Lola's main priority was her family.

She made sure we celebrated any and all occasions together.
by Geronima Ambe

Community Stories

Let it Give You What You Need

Thriving Through Terminal Cancer Twice. Cancer is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
by Arianna Giorgio

Letter from a warrior- “My encounter with life.”

I had Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Stage 2 at the age of 17. I am writing this letter to everyone who is facing the cancer in any form.
by Nandesh Yadav

I am JC. I am strongheart, and Cancer saved my life

God really heard my prayers and answered them in the most unusual way.
by Jen Costa