“We just cried, I mean, I remember crying and being in shock and thinking does this happen,” says Kathleen Settoon.
At just 24-years-old, Katheen was fighting the biggest battle of her life. It had come right in the middle of law school, with barely any warning signs: stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“So after that I started treatment at Ochsner hospital and it was the most aggressive chemotherapy since I was stage four.”
At first it worked, but Kathleen relapsed months later. Next she had a stem cell transplant, more chemotherapy, and radiation, but again relapsed after a short time of being cancer-free. This time at her weakest she knew she had to try something else.
“I think traditional cancer treatment people think that it’s bad, you know, it makes your hair fall out and it makes you have nausea, but it’s actually a lot more than that. It causes health problems to all your different systems and can have a big impact and stay with you.”
Kathleen took the non-traditional route and became part of a clinical trial out of MD Anderson in Houston. There they were testing a new drug to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma called Adcetris.
“The only thing I felt was my pain that I had in my bones and the tightness in my chest going away.”
Just two months after taking Adcetris, Kathleen was once again cancer-free but this time she’s been clear for almost two years. Today the drug is FDA approved and it’s available in New Orleans as an alternative for patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“You’d just get an IV drip for 30 minutes. That’s it! It’s very simple,” says Kathleen, “I think that I’ve started to progress out of the cancer patient mindset, because when it’s been four years that you’ve been in treatment, seeing a doctor, and all this it kind of takes over your life and it makes it hard to put yourself on the trajectory that you were on before.”
Now Kathleen is excited to not feel like a patient all the time. She’s graduated from law school, is working full time and keeping up with the world around her.
For more information on Adcetris click here.