(i) taken in october 2013 (ii) taken march 2014 (iii) taken may 2014

Welcome to weldherwings, my blog. Many people question why I would start this blog. My answer is simply this: to share my experiences and inspiration. I was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma on the fourteenth of January 2014. So many things were happening at that time for me. I had just finished studying and acquired my diploma in children services. I was in the second month of dating my best friend (which I can report we are still currently dating and have our six month coming up). My sister had just had a beautiful baby girl and I was her maid of honour for her upcoming wedding in April. My uncle (my mums brother) was on his death bed struggling with stomach cancer. We were also expecting family from Ireland to fly over for the wedding. Everthing was on the go and going very quickly.

It was actually a miracle that they found the cancer when they did. For years I struggled with stomach pains and was sick on and off (I work in childcare so I didn’t think anything of it; I always had some kid coughing on me). I was admitted in and out of hospital in complete and utter pain and the doctors didn’t know what was wrong. They did many blood tests, ultrasounds, xrays, colonoscopys and endoscopys. In the end they just finalized it that I was intolerant to high acidic foods, and told me to start going on the fodmap diet. This meant no dairy, gluten, wheat and all of my favorite fruits (like apples and watermelons) or vegetables (no snow Peas! Noooooooo!). However, it was Boxing Day 2013 when the pains came back again. My boyfriend, Joel, and I were driving home after going down to peppermint grove for a couple of days to spend Christmas with his family. The next day, early in the morning, I went straight to the hospital. They sent me home with pain killers two hours later. Next day, the pain killers didn’t work so I went back again to the hospital. They sent me off to get an xray done on my stomach and chest. They sent me home once again with pain killers. A few days later, still in pain, I got an letter from the hospital saying that they didn’t see it at the time I was at the hospital, but after evaluating the images again, they saw masses in my chest. The letter said it was probably nothing but maybe to organize a ct scan with my Gp to be on the safe side. A day after I received the letter, I went to my doctor who said he wanted to test me for helicobacter pylori. We did the test and it came back positive: that was the reason I had been sick the whole time! After getting my results, I mentioned the letter to him. Although he thought that nothing was wrong, he went ahead and organized a ct scan. I went in on a Monday morning before work for the scan, and the next day my mum picked up the results. She called me on my lunch break and told me I needed to go to the doctors as soon as I could. Thankfully to the wonderful ladies at work, I was able to leave early even though I was on a late shift at work that day. At that appointment, on the 14th January 2014, I was diagnosed with cancerous lymphoma. It wasn’t until a trip to the hospital for five days for a biopsy did they confirm that I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

I finish treatment in mid-August (8 cycles which is sixteen treatments altogether). Until then, I’m trying to find ways to keep myself busy and how to overcome different symptoms. Because I’m a qualified educator, I’m unable to work at the child care I have been working at for three years (because my immune system is too low). My boyfriend also works Monday to Friday, 6:30am til 4:30pm, so I am defiantly very bored during my days where I have no appointments!

So thank you for doing this journey with me!