My Name is Victoria, I am 26 and ALMOST a 3 year Hodgkins survivor! My cancer journey all started with what I thought was a benign lump in my neck that I had lived with it for about a year. I didn't have any symptoms and the lump never really bothered me... I thought it was just a pulled muscle. Until one day I decided to see my primary care physician who sent me to a specialist. I finally realized something was wrong as I walked into an oncology office. From there it was tests after tests. Biopsies after biopsies and then a port insertion. It didn't officially feel real until I sat in my infusion chair and they pumped me with "the red devil" (ABVD chemotherapy). My mom started crying, and you know whenever your moms starts crying, YOU start crying! After that, it was a learning curve. How would I feel each time after treatments? When will my hair start falling out? Why am I so bloated!? Every one of those questions revolved around my chemotherapy treatment. I was also taking steroids to help alleviate the nausea...but that's what caused my weight gain! The "red Devil" also attributed to my hairloss. Joy.... A series of mood swings also accompanied each steroid treatment.
6 months later, my treatment was finished! That was a good day! Coming into my last infusion, I think I almost cried again! But happy tears this time, of course.
But you want to know the overall message here? I'm happy I got cancer. Almost thankful for it. Of course it's a disease I would never wish upon anyone. But it's given me such a different perspective on life! It has opened my eyes to a new healthy lifestyle and best of all, it's made me realize I have some amazing people in my life. I met my boyfriend of almost 4 years just 6 months before my diagnosis. And you know what? He went to almost every appointment and treatment with me, and stuck with me through my bald, crazy and fluffy stages. You need people in your life who are there to support you every step of the way and love you no matter what.
My message to anyone fighting this ugly disease is... don't quit! Don't dwell on it. Try to live your life as big as possible. You are amazing.