Dealing with the peaks and valleys that come with a cancer diagnosis is difficult to navigate physically, mentally, and emotionally.
All of this takes a lot of resilience.
Brea Green is resilient.
Over the span of 15 months, Brea was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage 3b, started and completed ABVD chemotherapy, went into remission, and saw her diagnosis come right back like it never left.
“Honestly, that night was a blur…I was in total shock and was scared,” Brea recalled when thinking back to first finding out about the diagnosis.
She also remembers the joy and relief from ringing the cancer bell – a tradition across many hospitals to recognize a patient’s completion of treatment.
“It felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders and felt I could live again. I went on with life, preparing for my wedding, adventured around, and lived every moment,” she said.
Unfortunately, those feelings of relief and joy turned into concern and uncertainty in August 2020. Brea started having the same symptoms she had with her first diagnosis and her worst fear was confirmed two months later.
She had relapsed.
The Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was back.
“It was the most gut-wrenching feeling that I ever had,” Brea said.
While going through chemotherapy treatment in her hometown of Walla Walla, Washington, Brea was quickly referred to Dr. Anusha Vallurupalli, a hematologist-oncologist at OHSU who specializes in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
If remission occurred after chemotherapy, Brea’s plan was to receive the rest of her care at OHSU, starting with BEAM chemotherapy and, ultimately, undergoing a stem cell transplant.
Everything went according to plan.
February 17, 2021, is now Brea’s rebirth-day.
A day that marks a memorable milestone in her life. A day that signifies hope and resiliency. In celebration of this joyous moment, her nurses at OHSU surprised her with a cake.
“It meant so much to me! I feel this cake represents how strong I have been through this, and that I have fought hard to get to where I am,” she says. “It represents that I have another chance at life and the possibility of never having to face cancer again. The stem cell transplant was definitely hard, but I did it and it shows that I’m stronger than I think I am.”