Christine Sheppard fantasizes about her life before cancer. Before she had to take painkillers “all the time.” Before she had to seriously worry about when she might die.
“I found out something was wrong because my right leg swelled up enormously,” Sheppard said. “They did an ultrasound and found I was completely full of these lymph nodes. It was stage IV large-cell lymphoma.”
Grueling chemotherapy treatments have started robbing her of mobility. “It’s a strange nerve thing,” she said. “I don’t always know where my feet are. I have to look down to see where they are.”
And the symptoms “will be progressively worse. There’s no cure. Eventually, I will probably end up fairly immobilized.”
Christine Sheppard said she has to take pills every four hours to avoid “hopping and screaming” in pain.
For 12 years, Sheppard had no idea what might have caused her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — until a group of cancer researchers reported (PDF) that glyphosate, the key ingredient in the popular weed killer Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic to humans” (PDF).
That’s the same herbicide Sheppard said she sprayed on her coffee farm in Hawaii for five years.