Meet Zoe, diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, aged 17

Meet Zoe, diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, aged 17

I'm Zoe, aged 17. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma earlier this year. I've now finished my treatment and waiting to have a scan.

The side effects of treatment made me feel incredibly tired, to the point where sometimes I would sleep for most of the day or just stay in bed. I think the worst part of the treatment was the infections; I'd have to be in an isolation ward. Luckily for me, only the first two cycles were intensive chemotherapy, so the side effects weren't too bad. However, I think anyone who has had cancer will understand that you feel quite isolated from the rest of the world and even when you see your friends, you tend to avoid the subject of cancer since it's unlikely that they'll understand.

I think I've grown up a lot since my diagnosis; it forces you to experience things that most adults will never experience. I think I've also lost a lot of confidence since then, not just because I lost my hair, but I don't know how people will react to me.

To be honest, when I was diagnosed, I don't think I felt shocked. Prior to my diagnosis, I went through months and months of a lot of pain and other problems, such as anaemia, skin rashes and severe insomnia. So in a way, I felt relieved that finally I could understand why I was having these symptoms.

I recently went to the Discover You event organised by Teens Unite and I heard a lot of speakers talk about their own challenges and how they overcame them. Even though most of the speakers had not had cancer, it was really inspiring listening to them talk and helped me in my cancer journey.

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