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her bone mar­row with a 50 per­cent in­volve­ment and that she was at Stage 4.

“That was my most fear­ful time,” she said. “I was in the of­fice of my on­col­o­gist with my hus­band Wayne when I was told. The of­fi­cial di­ag­no­sis was Malig­nant B Cell Lym­phoma.”

Hunt wasn’t a stranger to can­cer. She had nursed her mother through ovar­ian can­cer for more than three years be­fore she died in 1999. Ac­cord­ing to Hunt she knew the symp­toms for ovar­ian, lung, colon can­cer and melanoma be­cause along with her mother, her fa­ther, sis­ter-in­law and grand­mother had all suc­cumbed to those types of can­cer. How­ever, she knew very lit­tle about lym­phoma and never thought about the area un­der the eye­lid as be- ing a place that con­tained a lymph node.

Treat­ment started just be­fore Christ­mas 2005. Hunt en­dured six strong chemo­ther­apy treat­ments ev­ery 21 days. The treat­ments in­cluded five dif­fer­ent chemo­ther­apy drugs, one of which kept her from sleep­ing at night, gave her ex­cru­ci­at­ing headaches and had her “climb­ing the walls.”

Her first two treat­ments caused her to break out in a rash, have con­stant sneez­ing spells, a drop in blood pres­sure and a racing heart. It was de­ter­mined that one of her med­i­ca­tions needed to be de­liv­ered at a much slower rate. Ev­ery treat­ment had Hunt stay­ing at the hospi­tal for about eight hours.

“Chemo is tough,” said Hunt. “I was given pa­pers with a list of pos­si­ble side ef­fects and I think I had them all. I was told that I would loose my hair and two days af­ter Christ­mas it started com­ing out by the hand­fuls.”

Her so­lu­tion? To make an ap­point­ment at her hair­dressers to have her head shaved. She had al­ready pur­chased a wig and sev­eral hats to wear in prepa­ra­tion for just such an oc­ca­sion.

Hunt’s veins be­came so bad that a port had to be in­stalled but it caused an in­fec­tion and had to be re­moved. Both her white and red blood cells dropped, she en­dured nau­sea and af­ter six treat­ments of strong chemo­ther­apy was told that she needed to con­tinue with one of the drugs used to fight her can­cer for two more years.

On May 25, 2006, Hunt be­gan that ther­apy ev­ery other month. At the end of the treat­ments she was given an­other bone mar­row biopsy and fi­nally told that she was in com­plete re­mis­sion. Al­though Hunt’s doc­tors told her the type of can­cer she had could re­turn, she was also in­formed that it could be treated again and that con­stant re­search is be­ing done on new drugs.

“New treat­ments and a cure is the rea­son that I par­tic­i­pate in the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety’s Re­lay for Life,” said Hunt. “I took my last strong chemo treat­ment on March 30, 2006, and I walked in my first Re­lay for Life on April 28.”

Hunt has walked with Mt. Pleas­ant United Methodist Church’s team ever since. The small church has be­tween 40-50 in at­ten­dance ev­ery Sun­day but dur­ing the past four years team leaders Karen Walden and Teresa Fricke have led the team to raise $35,000 in do­na­tions for can­cer re­search. New treat­ments and a cure are the very rea­son Hunt walks ev­ery year.

“I re­al­ize that some peo­ple think that it [can­cer] is a death sen­tence,” said Hunt. “But I was op­ti­mistic the en­tire time I went through treat­ments and I am still op­ti­mistic. Even though my on­col­o­gist told me that my type of can­cer could very likely re­cur, he as­sured me that a re­cur­rence was not a death sen­tence... I feel very blessed that God has granted me th­ese ex­tra years by putting my can­cer in re­mis­sion,” she con­tin­ued. “I think God ev­ery day for the many bless­ings he has be­stowed on me.”

WHAT: 2010 New­ton County Re­lay for Life pre­sented by New­ton Fed­eral Bank WHERE: The Church of Cov­ing­ton WHEN: To­day, April 23. At 5:30 p.m. the sur­vivor regis­tra­tion be­gins and the in­for­ma­tion tent and sur­vivor hos­pi­tal­ity area opens. Lu­mi­nary sales

Honor Cho­rus per­form in sur­vivor area. At 6:45 per­forms. Pre­sen­ta­tion of Colors by the New­ton High School ROTC and Na­tional An­them is per­formed by Libby Adams at 6:55 p.m. Open­ing cer­e­mony be­gins at 7 p.m. Sur­vivor/Care­giver lap be­gins at 7:10 p.m., team lap at 7:35 p.m. Var­i­ous per­form­ers will take the stage from 8 p.m. un­til 12:30 a.m. when games will be­gin. At 6 a.m. there is a wake up with Richard Sim­mons and clos­ing cer­e­monies are at 7 a.m.

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