Something to Fight For
- Tianna Campbell was diagnosed with lymphoma at the height of the pandemic at 23 years old.
- The single mom, now 24, not only had to deal with staying inside with two toddlers after the lockdown hit, but she had to care for them as she fought for her life.
- Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system that affects infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes; There are more than 40 different types.
Initially, Tianna had trouble breathing and went to get checked out. A scan revealed a 12cm tumor behind her breastbone. Fast forward to intense chemotherapy and 15 rounds of radiotherapy. The mother was left beyond exhausted, as most cancer patients can relate to, especially those with children.Read More
She had no choice but to learn how to cope.
Coping Through Cancer
Tianna said she would often drive over to her grandma’s house by the beach and watch her sons Logan and Riley play outside on the sand, which provided some therapeutic resting sessions.
“On some days I just wanted to sleep all day and not have to worry about anyone else, but motherhood doesn’t allow for that to happen,” Tianna said. “I had to keep going for the sake of my children.”
Like many other mothers fighting cancer, Tianna worried that her kids would get scared when she started losing her hair. Fortunately for her, it was just the opposite. “My sons have helped me through cancer. Even though they are still young, they are my purpose in life,” she said. “If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have fought cancer as hard as I did.”
Tianna can’t help but think of a potential relapse, a fear that often plagues the cancer community, but she quickly reminds herself to “live each day as it comes” and “make many memories” with her children, friends, and family.
Now she is helping to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust, the charity that helped the resilient mom during her time in need. Giving back to other young people who are struggling while going through cancer keeps her mind off of those negative thoughts. Go Tianna!
Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system that affects infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. And there are more than 40 different types of lymphoma.
“Lymphoma is split up into a number of different categories,” Dr. Elise Chong, a medical oncologist at Penn Medicine, previously told SurvivorNet.
Knowing which type of lymphoma you have is important as you start thinking about treatment.
“The first distinguishing breakpoint, if you will, is non-Hodgkin lymphoma versus Hodgkin lymphoma,” Dr. Chong explained, “and those sound like two different categories. But non-Hodgkin lymphoma comprises the majority of lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma is a single specific type of lymphoma.”
Hodgkin lymphoma has distinctive, giant cells called Reed-Sternberg cells. The presence of these cells, which can be seen under a microscope, will help your doctor determine which of the two lymphoma types you have.