How the Flu Saved Her Life

This is a beautiful story of how one family persevered through a very difficult time in their lives, and are now closer than ever. 

How the Flu Saved Her Life

Every year, our family, among others, attends the Wallacetown fair. In 2014 I didn’t make it. Instead I was admitted to the hospital in St. Thomas. Earlier that week the stomach flu had gone through our house starting with my youngest Nicole who was three at the time.  Devin was 8 and Emily 11, thankfully they didn’t get sick. But when it hit me I started having intense stomach pain.  Thinking it was probably just a minor infection I went to the St. Thomas ER.  After a few tests I was admitted with a large infected abdominal cyst.  Two days of IV antibiotics and then sent home on meds and rest. Thankfully my doctor wanted to find out where this cyst was from and ordered more testing which found a large tumor in my abdominal lymph nodes, likely from lymphoma.  I like to think that by bringing home that stomach bug Nicole saved my life. Who knows how long I would have gone on without knowing.

The Diagnosis

Within three months we had a diagnosis of stage 2 follicular lymphoma.  We received the news from our family doctor and me being one to never cry in public held it together, right until I hit the parking lot.  Then Mark just wrapped his arms around me and let me cry.  When we got home we told the kids, yes it was cancer but I would get better. Chemotherapy was to start in January.  My husband Mark was by my side for every test and every doctor’s appointment.


Chemo was a horrible experience for me, extreme nausea, vomiting and fatigue.  For the first three days after the treatment I would only sleep, sometimes in bed, sometimes on the couch.  Mark never left my side and the kids would help out however they could. Keep their rooms clean, set the table, whatever they could do.  Sometimes when I was half asleep I would feel Nicole come up and gently touch my head.

Where they are Now

Now whenever there is a fundraiser for anything cancer related my kids participate in my honor.  This sacre has brought us closer together as a family.  It was a tough year but my family’s love gave me the strength to keep pushing through.  One of the biggest lessons was that it taught me to slow down.  Life gets really busy, kids, activities, work, appointments, the lists never end.  Before I got sick I was just caught up in the cycle of stress and too much to do.  Now I remember to stop and take it in, enjoy as much as I can.  Every birthday means another year I have spent with my family!  One day I’ll be a grandma!

Thank you to Vanessa Krzyworaczka for sharing her story with us.

If you know of someone that has an inspiring story to share with others, please send them our way.

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