What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Lymphoma


What age were you diagnosed?

35


What helped you to thrive?

My family. Husband and kids day in day out kept me busy and focused on them and not the treatment and it's side effects. My mum......a breast cancer survivor who has the keep calm and carry on mentality.


Ellen's Story

I was 6 weeks pregnant I noticed a pea size lump on my chest. Near the bony neck area. I went straight to the GP knowing from a long line of cancer in the family it needed checking out. Was told would just be hormonal from pregnancy. Got bigger. And bigger. Sent for an ultrasound and told it was fluid and probably from a previous shoulder injury likely to be Costochondritis.....Google it! Booked in for a c section due to the baby being breech. And before that went ahead went for the new prescription of my beta blockers for existing SVT condition. There I saw my normal (non-pregnancy related) Dr who immediately handed me a sarcoma leaflet and said he was referring me as a precaution.......Baby girl born and lump now so large after 8 months my chin touched it upon my chest.

MRI was done one week postpartum. 2 days later GP called at 8.30pm.....wanted me to go immediately to A&E as scan showed sternum had eroded and surgery was needed asap. Said I couldn't as my husband was away and I had 2 little ones to care for......so he agreed I could wait till the morning. Visited GP with and told chest surgeons said I could wait to see them in a fortnight but husband refuses to leave based on other GP knowledge. Next day had a kind of biopsy and fluid drained from chest...... 3 days after admitted for further surgery.....and vac Pac fitting.....9 days after and 10 days without my baby and having to stop breastfeeding I was freed to daily dressing changes. Then the call.......My surgeon called to say the unusual results we had had in St James had been lymphoma..... How and why it took so long is to be discovered. 3 weeks later had my first chemo. 6 cycles every 3 weeks then a month radiation. Remission granted in May. Yesterday was a year since that call.

Today I wrote this brief. Sat on a beach watching my babies playing. The rawness of love pre-cancer is always there. Anger comes and goes on waves. Blame is that also. Cancer holds no prisoners. But diagnoses during pregnancy shouldn't be ignored. Drs must not refuse checks and scans in pregnancy.......Its being more common it would seem or perhaps it just a new world I have had the sadness to meet.