GET SUPPORT GET CONNECTED Your Voices Angel What cancer were you diagnosed with? Hodgkin's Lymphoma What age were you diagnosed? 22 What has helped you to thrive? For me, my faith has played a significant role in terms of being able to maintain a positive attitude. I wanted to show people that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean you stop living your best life, you can take some control, it’s just another speed bump. After my diagnosis I actively searched for groups like Trekstock and Cancer Chicks to help me connect with other people who understood what I was going through. I found that surrounding myself with family and friends who were incredibly supportive and filled me with love, laughter and all around good energy really helped make a difference to my journey. Angel's Story Around late May/June 2018 I noticed that I had a lump on the left side of my neck, which I initially ignored because I assumed I’d injured myself in the gym or at work somehow. Quite a few weeks went by and I noticed that the lump had not only grew but several other lumps had appeared also. This is when alarm bells started to ring and I decided to go to my GP. It took a few trips to the GP before I was referred to a Ear, Neck and Throat specialist. They examined the lumps and explained they felt it was an infection of some sort and not to worry, I was booked in for a biopsy and scan as precaution. After hearing that the lumps were not suspected to be cancerous I went on holiday, which is when more symptoms started to show but I wasn’t aware they were connected to cancer. I received a call from the hospital while abroad but they were just saying my appointment has been moved to an earlier date. Once I returned home I had a flood of letters from the hospital and a few days later attended my appointment which is when I was first heard “Hodgkins Lymphoma.” For me one of the hardest parts of my journey was going through IVF and awaiting a date to start chemotherapy, I had no idea what to expect and had already spent a lot of time in hospital. After months of ABVD chemo I also underwent radiotherapy, which I found a lot easier to deal with overall however, the radiotherapy side effects were quite difficult to cope with on my throat and still having to go to hospital daily. Thankfully in January 2019 I am officially in remission, I feel so blessed and overwhelmed to call myself a cancer survivor and although my cancer journey was filled with ups and downs I am incredibly thankful for the strength I found in myself and the woman it’s made me. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis can be hard enough, even more so as a young adult and an ethnic minority. My aim is to break the taboo around cancer within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and help show other cancer patients and survivors that there are BAME patients sharing their story and you are not alone. To anyone going dealing with cancer just know that you can get through it and take each day as it comes, find little things to do that make you happy and take your mind off of everything. Joining groups like Trekstock gives you a safe and welcoming community to share your story, connect with others and simply be around others who get it. Honestly, I spend half my days in bed battling fatigue amongst other side effects so please feel free to message me if you just need someone to talk to – massive movie fan so can give some recommendations!