“My name is Kat Macaulay. In August 2011, I was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 32.
“Thankfully I am now in remission, but remember the day I was diagnosed very clearly.
“I found a lump in my neck in April but until I saw a photo hadn’t realised I'd had it for a good few months. My doctor sent me to the hospital and until I was diagnosed with lymphoma I felt it was all a fuss about nothing.
“I really didn't expect it to be cancer. It's not that the C word is an unknown fear. My mum's had breast cancer three times. It's just the usual cliche... I genuinely didn't think it was going to happen to me. But it did and I tried my hardest to tackle the situation head on.
“My advice to anyone going through this now would be to treat the experience as an adventure. Maybe it’s the journalist in me but I was fascinated by the process of receiving chemo, meeting my nurses and chatting to other patients.
“I also advise that you tell people how you want them to be with you and what you need from them. I found it frustrating when people felt sorry for me. I explained to friends and family that I wanted their support, but also for them to behave normally with me. I warned them to expect bad jokes about being ill and fighting cancer.
“Finally, don’t stop living. Keep doing the things that make you happy and don’t let your health define you – even if getting out of bed is a bit tough at times.
“Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research provided some very helpful information when I was diagnosed. They are doing some valuable work to improve treatment for people like me. They are such a great charity with big ambitions to beat blood cancer. I hope I can support them in doing just that.
“I have signed up to the 2012 London Bikeathon and hope to raise £2,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. I love cycling. I used to cycle around 60 miles a week and tried to keep it up whilst I was receiving my treatment. I hope that the challenge will get me fit again just a year after starting chemo. You can support me and help us beat blood cancer at www.justgiving.com/katsbigchallenge1”
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.