In November 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 28 years old. My symptoms were fatigue, itchy skin, night sweats, rapid weight loss and loss of appetite. All which were easily mistaken as being stress-related. It wasn’t until I got sick with a cough, and a small lump appeared on the side of my neck, that I was concerned.
To confirm the mystery, I had many scans and procedures; including a CT scan, surgery for chest port, needle neck biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, and a PET scan. After completing twelve rounds of chemo, I am in remission.
The initial shock of being told “You have Lymphoma” was intense. Being told you have Cancer, at any age, is tragic. A million questions race through your mind, you start to wonder “Am I going to die?”, and suddenly, you feel out of control. It’s true. There isn’t much you can control when it comes to Cancer, but we have the power to control how we deal with it.
My motto throughout treatment was “Always Be Fabulous”. To me, being fabulous is a state of mind and staying positive is the key. Instead of dwelling on the things I couldn’t change, like losing all my hair, I focused my energy into finding ways to staying positive. In this case, I purchased some fun-colored wigs and experimented with my personal style to help lift my mood.
The day I received the news I was cancer free, I went for a run. During my run, I saw the purple Team in Training tent set up, so I ran over to see what it was all about. I told them the good news and felt inspired to join. To me, meeting them on the day of receiving my results was a sign.
I am thankful for my health and the opportunity to give thanks and to give back to the LLS for the support they have provided to me, my fellow “Lymphomies” and blood cancer fighters everywhere. So, here I am. I’m healthy and training for my first TNT event, The Seattle Rock N’ Roll Half-Marathon and raising more money then I could have ever imagined.
I beat cancer. I didn’t let it beat me.