Jessica Katzowitz is a massage therapist at Club Fit Briarcliff. She and her husband, Eric, have dedicated their lives to fitness and health.
Both are avid cyclists and runners. Bottom line is, they eat right, exercise and are health conscious individuals. That’s just one of the reasons it was so unreal when Eric was diagnosed with cancer.
Your whole outlook on life changes when something like this happens and for Jess, it inspired her to turn her marathon running into fundraising efforts that are near and dear to her heart. The type of cancer Eric was recently diagnosed with is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
CLL is a blood cancer that is not curable and is typically only treated when certain symptoms worsen. If you are not feeling too sick and your lymph nodes and spleen aren’t that swollen and you are not running fevers and you are not anemic they don’t treat you.
So, you can be walking around with CLL and still be sick but not sick enough for treatment. The treatment is chemotherapy and the doctors don’t want to make you sicker than need be or compromise your already weakened immune system.
What? My husband has cancer, but you are not treating it? This was the prognosis, no treatment right now and maybe not for three to five years. This has got to be the most mind boggling concept to deal with.
Eric and I live with his cancer every day. Some days he feels good and other days he is so tired and aches down to his bones. There is no treatment for these symptoms. Perhaps if there was more research into CLL there would be a “feel good” treatment for the wait and watch period.
It is quite clear that running a marathon will certainly not be the hardest thing she has to do. It is people like Jess that are strong enough to make a difference. Even when the chips are down, seeing the light can inspire us to incite positive change. Thanks for your support and for listening!