I was diagnosed with stage 2A Hodgkin’s lymphoma when I was 23 years old. My journey started in February 2018 when I found a lump just above my right collarbone. I found it unusual and so I booked an appointment with my family doctor the following day. They immediately suspected it was a swollen lymph node and proceeded to do blood work and book an ultrasound to figure out the reason why it was swollen, both of which came back normal. Knowing that Hodgkin’s lymphoma is very common in young females my doctor wanted to be sure that the swollen lymph node was not a result of cancer and booked me in for an X-ray and a CT scan, which again both came back normal. I was then referred to a specialist who did a needle biopsy of the lymph node to look for any cancerous cells. Once again, normal. At this point, it had been several months and I had several tests that were all negative for lymphoma but my specialist was concerned at the size of the lymph node and that it was not getting any smaller and so she wanted to do a full biopsy of the lymph node so that we could 100% say that it was not cancerous. I had the lymph node removed at the end of that summer, two weeks before I moved to Guelph to pursue my Masters.
It was a week into my schooling that I got the phone call telling me the biopsy came back positive for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I was immediately referred to an oncologist who told me the best course of action was 12 rounds of chemotherapy, which I started on October 4th, 2018. I underwent chemotherapy until March 8th, 2019, all the while completing my Masters. I responded extremely well to chemotherapy and was in remission by the beginning of the summer of 2019.
If it were not for my amazing doctors who refused to give up until they found the reason for my lump, despite several tests coming back negative, my story may have been very different. I’m eternally grateful for all the doctors and nurses, both leading up to my diagnosis and at the London Regional Cancer Centre during treatment for being so kind and gracious during my experience. When Theresa approached me to join her for the 10th anniversary of ONERUN I knew I wanted to do my part to help raise awareness and money for people who are in the very scary situation that I found myself in.