Just a few weeks into the nursing program at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Carissa Lucas found a lump on the left side of her neck.
She had a test and class that day and thought it could wait, but one of her professors advised her to get it checked out. Carissa's doctor sent her to the emergency room and to have a CT scan. Three hours later, she was informed that the tests were consistent with lymphoma. Two weeks later, she learned that the diagnosis was stage two Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Carissa started chemotherapy while attending classes.
"I had chemotherapy every other week, and was able to keep attending classes and get the treatment that I needed."
The accelerated nursing program took Carissa a year longer than planned due to a medical leave of absence. The good news is that in spite of extensive treatment and a stem cell transplant, she was scheduled to graduate in May of 2016 and begin a nursing position for Baylor, Scott & White.
"A lot of people have said that I inspire them, and I appreciate the sentiment, but I never set out to do that. I just want to be the best nurse that I can be. I couldn't let a diagnosis keep me from achieving my goals"
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