Surviving Lymphoma and Life's Challenges: Leslie's Story, Part II


This two-part article was written exclusively for by Leslie Smith Doan, a blogger and lymphoma survivor. In this installment, she shares the challenges of life after cancer.

Click here to read Part I.

I have annual check-ups with Dr. Mendelsohn and my Pulmonary Doctor, Dr. Gail McCracken.

I also found out recently that I have some weakened heart valves because of the chemotherapy and radiation I went through but I'm responding well to the medications prescribed by my Cardiologist, Dr. Orsini.

Seeing Life from a New Angle

I’ve learned that life is precious. In less than two years, I’ve turned 50 years old, celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary with my husband, Stewart Doan, traveled to Hawaii with our two daughters when my husband spoke at a National Conference as an Agriculture Journalist, observed another year of cancer free remission and then buried my husband when he passed away suddenly.

He died at age 52 on May 10, 2012 from an undiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism. Our lives changed within minutes.

I’m now 51 years old and decided shortly after my husband passed away that I needed to make my health and my two daughters my top priority. Lauren is now 20 years old and a junior in college. She just recently spent five months in Austria studying International Relations as an exchange student at the University of Graz.

Our youngest daughter, Sara, turned 16 in March. She recently went on a church youth mission trip to Chicago, worked as a Junior Counselor at a Christian Camp in June, attended a summer program in Rhode Island and is participating this week at the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, DC.

I know their father would be very proud of both our daughters. I’m a writer and want to share my story of moving on after a tragedy with others who can benefit from my experiences.

Life After Cancer

One thing that I’ve learned through my cancer treatment and also during my journey to heal as a widow is that it is very important stay away from negative people who are known as Energy Drainers and to continue to focus on the positive!

I recently celebrated my 12-year cancer free remission anniversary by meeting Darren Criss of the TV show “Glee” at his concert in Dallas!

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