It’s not clickbait, friends. It is not a bad dream I will wake up from. This is my actual life right now.
I have been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
I am including a video that I saved from my Instagram story, where I explain everything.
I have been sick for many months, and my symptoms seemed sort of vague and generic.
What are symptoms of Hodgkins Lymphoma?
I am including this as a PSA, in case anybody out there reading this needs to go get checked. I had most of these, except for a few.
- Shortness of breath ✅
- Dry cough✅
- Night sweats ✅(only recently)
- Itching ✅
- Strange sensations in the center of my chest – not pain, just pressure that would come and go. Plus a spasming-like feeling that would also come and go. ✅
- Chest pain (none for me)
- Fever (none for me)
- Chills (none for me)
- Decreased appetite ✅
- Unexplained weight loss ✅
Having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer. But I would encourage you to get checked out by your doctor.
Getting Diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma
I went to see my doctor in August. I was having breathing issues, plus a horrible cough and fatigue. The breathing issues started out very mild, almost unnoticeable at first, but they had gotten progressively worse.
She treated me for allergies, asthma and acid reflux…all while ordering some extra tests: a chest X-ray and and echo to check my heart.
My symptoms that got nearly unbearable by the first week of September. I somehow drug myself to my sweet son’s 6th birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese.
I felt horrible, though. My breathing was extremely labored, I had an awful cough, and I felt just awful. That was a hard day. I didn’t look sick on the outside, though, and nobody knew anything was going on.
The chest x-ray is what actually clued my doctor in to what was going on. She ordered a CT scan to get a better look, and she called me in to her office on Monday September 10 to discuss the results.
That day was the first day I heard that I likely had some type of lymphoma. Nobody was more shocked than me.
Biopsy surgery was scheduled very quickly. Thankfully, they surgeon was also to removed a large amount of fluid from my lungs, which has eased my symptoms significantly.
The biopsy confirmed what I was initially told – that I have Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Processing a Cancer Diagnosis
Processing both the emotions and the practical aspects of this has been very difficult. Up until two weeks ago I had never had any type of surgery, no medical issues, etc. I have never even been on prescription medication, other than occasional antibiotics for a sinus infection.
My mom has been staying with us for a month, which I am so thankful for. I have no earthly idea how I would survived the last month without her. Practical chores and caring for my children seem very overwhelming right now.
It is very, very strange to suddenly be “that girl who has cancer.” I never saw this coming. I am so careful about my food choices and the types of products we use in our home…and life choices in general.
Processing that I am actually going to be going through chemotherapy has been tough. I have some fears coming up around that, but ultimately I know there are very good outcomes with treatment for this type of cancer. It typically responds very well to treatment, and for that I am so thankful.
Getting Back to Living After a Cancer Diagnosis
I am craving normal things more than ever. Playing with my kids.
Going on dates with my husband.
Testing recipes and photographing the food to make it look beautiful. Writing. Hanging with friends. Going to choir. Meeting friends for lunch. Walking outside. Simple things. I cannot wait to get back to those things!
Life doesn’t stop when you suddenly find yourself in a health crisis. Things still break around the house. Laundry still appears. Kids’ school activities keep moving forward. Birthday parties happen. I find some comfort in that, oddly enough.
I don’t know what will happen or how I will feel once I begin treatment. I am hopeful that I will tolerate treatment well.
I intend to keep living “normal life” as much as possible, laughing as much as possible and finding things to enjoy and be thankful for. Even in the midst of this very hard thing that I am dealing with.
I can do hard things, though. I am strong. I am determined. I am loved. I am supported. I am covered in prayer.
Thank you to all the love and support you have sent my way already – from those of you who already know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how loved and supported you have made me feel.