You may be asking why is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is part of the blog… To tell you the truth, I am diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 18 (turning 19).
It all first started with consecutive high fevers at night. Taking panadol, followed by a night’s sleep was all that is needed for my night fevers to subside. However, the night fevers lasted nearly 2 weeks before taking a visit at the clinic. You may be thinking why it took me so long to see a doctor. Reason being, I thought it was due to stress (as well as menstrual symptoms), and furthermore, with cases of other people going to the hospital to get themselves checked due to high fever, there were often no findings and people came back just fine.
The fever started when it was nearing all my project submissions as well as tests and exams. Coincidentally, Chinese New Year (CNY) fell close before the test week as well. There was practically not much time for me to visit the clinic as I was busy with project presentations, CNY house visits and preparing myself for exams. When I finally went to the clinic, I was told that I should go to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) at the hospital. To be honest, I was TERRIFIED. Because I visited the doctor on a Monday (which was the day of my 1st paper), and that would mean it was during my exam period. If I were to go A&E, I would most likely to be admitted to hospital and miss my following papers. True enough, I was admitted on the following day, Tuesday. The doctors could not tell what was wrong with my body and only concluded that it was most likely bacteria infection somewhere in my body. After a stay of 3 days and 2 nights at the hospital, I was discharged with primary findings – viral fever, and secondary findings – anemia. After my discharged, I continued to study for my exam papers.
In about 2 weeks time, I started feeling a lump under my right armpit and it felt sore when I first discovered it (thankfully my exams were all over). Slowly, the pain starts to become more and more excruciating. A week later, I went to polyclinic and got myself checked. Similarly, I was referred to A&E… This time round, the A&E department did not admit me to hospital but discharged me on the very same day. They gave me antibiotics. The following day, I started having high fever at night again. Consecutively 2 nights, I had very high fever. I was brought to the hospital again, and got myself admitted. And I stayed for a week, having myself going through CT- scan, blood tests and even surgery… It was a minor surgery but it was… really scary. I even had neck cramp that lasted for days due to the area that underwent surgery. The surgery area was the left of my neck (near to the collarbone). I had to hold my head in a certain angle, a certain position while the surgeon proceeded with the surgery and that caused my neck to cramp. The surgery was a biopsy of a hard swollen lymph node at my neck. A few more days of stay after the surgery and I was discharged. There was still no solid reason for all these enlarged lymph nodes and ongoing fever (everyday). The doctors suspected me of lymphoma. Accurate enough, 2 weeks later, when my biopsy result came out, it showed stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it spread to my lungs. Chemotherapy was my only option. I didn’t know what to feel upon hearing that. I didn’t know how I should react. It was treatable and curable. And I thought that was good enough to know.
But chemo, isn’t as easy as what I had thought..