Update on Erin

You may remember that I wrote about my friend and former student Erin when I was raising funds for Leukemia and Lymphoma for the Nike Marathon. Erin’s name was at the bottom of my Team in Training shirt when I ran, as she was in the thick of her battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Since that day, Erin has been through a lot. The first chemo had been unsuccessful at shrinking the tumor, so they put her in a new regimen called ICE which is incredibly strong. Erin described it by saying that she couldn’t fathom how any cancer cells could survive what that chemo did to her body. It was very rough, and she was very sick from it. Around Thanksgiving time she got the bad news that the ICE chemo had done nothing for the tumor.

Erin, unbelievably, battled on with a positive attitude that dumbfounded me. She continued on with law school, and claimed: “third time is a charm!” as she headed into the 3rd attempt at chemo.

Lo and behold, the 3rd chemo worked! (tears). Erin made enough progress with the 3rd kind of chemo, that the doctors deemed her ready to undergo a stem-cell transplant at Dartmouth which will give her body the very best chance of beating the cancer for good. The process includes zapping her body with a few more blasts of chemo to kill all the bad cells and then injecting her with new, healthy stem cells that can fight off any remaining cancer cells in her body.

Yesterday, Erin got her new stem-cells. She posted on facebook: “It’s my new birthday!”

I can’t overstate how amazingly Erin has kept her head up and her spirits high through an ordeal that would make me want to crawl under my bed and hide. We’ve kept in close touch through all of the twists and turns of her treatment, and every message I get from her, even the ones with bad news, maintain her brave message: “I’m going to beat this.”

Won’t you please visit Erin’s caringbridge site and give her some well wishes in her guestbook? Her battle is not over, for sure, but she fights on.


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