Hello I'm Angela Van Niel and I will be your baker.
After decades of doing the 9 to 5 in the financial and CA real estate fields, I wanted, hell I needed a change. I wanted to do something that brought me joy.
But in late 2007, life had other plans for me. I started not feeling like myself and my body was literally shutting down on me. One day I told my husband I needed to go to the hospital. After being examined and misdiagnosed, I passed out. I fell into a coma. I was shipped around CA, from hospital to hospital from one specialist to the next. I was treated and tested for everything under the sun. All the while my organs were starting to shutdown. I was dying.
Then came my saving grace, Dr. Amy Pierce of UCLA Westwood, who found what the other 20+ doctors and 3 other hospitals did not. CANCER!!! Paraneoplastic Syndrome to be exact. I was the 13th patient in the world to display all the symptoms (I'm in the journals). All the others had died.
So, I underwent surgery to remove this life stealing monster. Once they open me up they were shocked to find demon #2, Lymphoma type B. Are you kidding me? I had two separate cancers and they were fighting one another while my body was trying to fight them. It was exhausting.
Long story short, they remove the tumors from behind my ovaries and close me up. I'm still comatose, healing from surgery with a woundvac attached to me, but still having high fevers. So the doctors decide to start chemo immediately to battle the Lymphoma. I had 3 chemo treats while comatose.
I finally wake up in April of 2008, with no short term memory and vague memories of getting ready for Thanksgiving 2007. I tried to get up, but I was attached to my bed by tubes and wires. I had been bed bound for 4 months. I had to learn how to sit up, walk, talk and swallow again (I had had tubes down my throat and had been trached).
I woke up just in time to see my son graduate from high school. I finally got to go home. I was healing physically with home health professionals, but my cognitive just didn't feel like my old self. So, I enrolled in college to complete my Masters degree. I needed to get back on track of changing my life.
If not now, when?
I finished my degree within 2 years, graduating with high honors all the while going thorough chemo and radiation treatment.
Now I'm living a cancer free life.