Diagnosed with Lymphoma at 23

My advice

Being diagnosed with Cancer is terrifying but you will realise you are a lot stronger than you think. Lymphoma is very treatable, and you can live a normal, long life. They will be the hardest months of your life and at times you may feel like giving up, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

My recommendations

My story

In July 2019 I noticed two large swellings in my neck. The next day I went to the doctors where I was told that they were swollen lymph nodes and to wait two weeks as they could be swollen due to an infection. 2 weeks passed and the lymph nodes were still swollen. I was then referred to haematology where I had blood tests to check for infections. These came back negative. I then had a core biopsy where they took a number of small tissue samples from a swollen node to test for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The results came back inconclusive. I then had to have an operation to remove a complete lymph node to test further.

On the 20th December 2019, I was told I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer of the blood. My world was turned upside down. Not only was I told I had cancer, but that I may lose my fertility if the treatment did not work. Then I would then have to go on a stronger treatment regime. I was also told that I would lose all of my hair.

I underwent two weeks of fertility treatment, which was very challenging, but for me, it was worth it to have some reassurance. Four days later I had my first chemotherapy session. I had to undergo 12 rounds of chemotherapy which is six cycles. I was told after my 4th round that I was in remission. The best day of my life by far. On the 26th of June 2020, nearly a year later from when it all began, I finished my last chemotherapy session, and I got to ring the bell.

I have a 6-week post-treatment scan to make sure the Lymphoma is still gone, then I have follow up appointments every two months for three years, then I will be discharged.

I have written a blog, which I update regularly which explains my journey with Lymphoma, hoping to provide support to others going through a cancer diagnosis and what to expect throughout your journey.

Don’t let cancer define and destroy you.