Tracy Phillips jokes that she always knew her husband Scott was special. So special that he got not one, but two kinds of lymphoma—Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s. “Just one of 100 people in the country who get it at the same time,” she adds.
Looking back, it’s easier to add that touch of levity. In September 2015, at the time of his diagnosis, not so much. “I had barely even heard of lymphoma at the time that I was diagnosed, so having a rare combination was not exactly the news I wanted to hear,” remembers Scott.
An engineer for an area consulting firm, Scott was treated with chemo, followed by a stem cell transplant using his own cells. After all the chemo, the stem cell transplant was three weeks at Emory. “I’m thankful to be on the other side of it,” he says.
With three teens in the house — 19, 18 and 13 — helping all adjust to the family’s new normal was important. Scott and Tracy are grateful for all the help from family and friends, their church, their employers. “It was almost overwhelming at times… the kindness of people. There was a tremendous outpouring of love and support and care — people bringing us meals, people cutting our yard, doing things for our cars for maintenance, and a lot of times doing it anonymously.”
Learning to accept help was not always easy. “I had to stop trying to do all the things that I just couldn’t do, and without the full knowledge of how it was going to get done,” recalls Scott. “Just let it go… and it ended up not mattering a dang bit.”
“The first thing is to live. Everything else you can worry about later.”