On 1st March 2022, I got the call to tell me my biopsy results: stage 4 classical nodular sclerosing Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
While the thought had crossed my mind, I’d never thought lymphoma would be what I was eventually diagnosed with.
I underwent 6 cycles (12 doses) of ABVD. As a biologist, I thought I knew what to expect but actually experiencing it was a whole different kettle of fish. The side effects were dreadful.
Now in March 2023, it’s been just over 6 months since my last round of chemo and just over 12 months since my initial diagnosis. My hair is back (albeit a bit thinner and greyer), I have no peripheral neuropathy, I’m exercising daily to build towards my pre-cancer cycling performance, and most days I feel pretty good.
From the week of my first chemo when a cancer nurse referred me to them, Lymphoma Australia have been there with me during my cancer journey: they provided information packs at the start to help my family and friends understand what was going on, and I had regular check-ins and advice from Lisa, one of the lymphoma care nurses, through the chemo and now into my ongoing recovery.
Lymphoma Australia can’t support patients without funding, which is why I was aiming to give back by participating in the 2023 Legs Out For Lymphoma if I was well enough. For each week of Legs Out, my challenge to myself is to cycle 80km each week: 1km for each of the ~80 subtypes of lymphoma. 80km in one bike ride didn’t take much out of me before cancer, but these days I’m finding 80km a week to be a pretty big effort!