If you’ve found this blog, you’re most likely either a friend, family member, or someone whose life cancer has touched. I am here to tell you about a chapter in my life, partially as a form of personal therapy and documentation for the curious, but mostly to reach out to those who are struggling with cancer and need reassurance.  

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Marina. I hail from the historic land of Boston, and I currently live in Utah with my husband Kent. I came out west for school at Brigham Young University and I met Kent on one of the ballroom teams at BYU; we bonded over sci-fi and theater. Shortly after we got married in April 2013, we started a mocktail catering business called Zero Proof Mocktails, our dream project we hope to revisit someday. In June 2015, I graduated from BYU in Microbiology, and Kent is working on his degree in Computer Science. In May 2016, I landed my dream job at Nelson Laboratories,where I test medical devices and drug products to help prepare companies for FDA inquiry. The next month, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, and our life plans had to be put on hold.

This is very much a “cancer blog,” but it probably won’t be the emotional roller coaster you might expect. Though I’ve definitely had ups and downs with my diagnosis and treatment, I have accepted Hodgkin Lymphoma as a part of my life; I love learning about it, and I enjoy teaching people about it. Knowledge is power, and the more I know about this subject, the more I am able to transform my cancer from a Monster of the Unknown, to merely a Very Obnoxious and Unwelcome Houseguest. So you’ll read about my experiences and feelings, but there’s also going to be quite a bit of technical material. I am a microbiologist after all, so it makes me extremely happy to share the knowledge in my own scientific way.

I’m hoping that other people with Hodgkin Lymphoma, or those who have a loved one with this diagnosis, will find this blog and take comfort in what I’ve learned on this journey. Having more information doesn’t make the cancer go away, but when you have the facts, you can do something about it. And when someone has been where you’re going, their experiences can set your mind at ease.