Jessica Cutler was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2012 at the age of 20.
"Last year I was a happy normal 20 year old going to work and going out with friends but I started to fall asleep a lot and getting chest pains but thought nothing of it as I have a reflux and had medication for it but a few weeks later in April I found a lump on the right side of my neck just above my collar bone. I went to the doctors the next day and was sent for blood tests and an ultrasound scan.
The blood tests showed my white blood cells were too high and the ultrasound scan came back inconclusive. I was sent to Wythenshawe hospital for further investigation but before my appointment came I had another lump at the front of my neck so I went back to the doctors who sent me to Wythenshawe hospital the same day. I had a needle biopsy done on the lump on the right side of my neck which also came back inconclusive so I had to have some of the lump cut out and a CT scan. The week after on June 19th I went back to get my results and was told I had Hodgkin Lymphoma and was sent to The Christie.
At The Christie I had another CT scan and a couple of appointments with my consultant. I was told I was stage two as the cancer was in my neck and chest and would need 6 months of ABVD chemotherapy which would start 6th August 2012 and had a picc line put in my arm. I went for my first chemotherapy where my consultant told me I wouldn’t be allowed my chemotherapy and would need a pet scan and MRI scan. The cancer had spread to my abdomen and liver an now I was stage 4.
I started my chemotherapy 2 weeks later on the 20th August 2012. I had chemo every 2 weeks for 6 months but had one of my chemo's stopped half way through due to it causing damage to my lungs. I was sick on chemo days but 4/5 days later I would be feeling a bit better and only got admitted into The Christie twice due to a high temperature which they said was chemo fever.
I had my last chemotherapy on Jan 21st 2013 and found out on Feb 18th 2013 the cancer had gone and I was in remission! Then in April I had 3 weeks of radiotherapy on my chest as a precaution. I have met some amazing people at The Christie and made friends for life, especially Nesha who I met at a spa weekend I went to with The Christie and we’ve been really close ever since and the wonderful staff at The Christie are amazing!
Since going into remission I have started driving lessons, gone back to work and taken part in the race for life with Nesha and a few others. I'm going back to college in September and later this month am doing a sky dive for CLIC Sargent. I have also made a list of everything I want to do in life and I am currently going through it and ticking things off I have done/ planned. This experience has taught me to live life to the full and enjoy every minute of it.
At the moment me and Nesha are in the process of planning a charity ball in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the YOU at The Christie. The ball is being held at the Palace Hotel in Manchester on 27th September and its £45 a ticket. There will be a raffle, auction and 3 course meal. It would be great if you could come and join us on this night and help us raise as much money as possible for these two amazing charities that mean so much to both of us."
If you've recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and have yet to receive treatment you could be eligible to take part in a new clincial trial. Read more here.