Zoe R.
Posted by

A whirlwind two years!

Zoe R.
Posted by
29 Feb 2016

Life was hard... now it's a lot better!! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Hi there,

I thought I would share a bit of my story and how cancer has affected me and my family.

Life took a bit of a turn for the worse about two years with me having a fall and breaking my ankle very badly requiring my first ever stay in hospital and my first ever operation! After I was just getting over that we found out that my Dad has Myeloma which was a massive shock but he is doing fine and is currently not on treatment for it as the inital chemotherapy has made it go dormant. He doesn't let it get him down as they cannot cure Myeloma but he is a positive person and he will fight it for as long as he can. This news came after we had found out my partner's Mum had breast cancer and his Grandma had terminal cancer.


Just after we had come to terms with all this cancer affecting our family, his Grandma took a turn for the worse and spent her last few weeks in St Anne's Hospice in Stockport. She was looked after amazingly but it was hard to see. We had had a good news though as his Mum had had reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy and was told she was in remission.


It was during the time his Grandma was in the hospice that I was told I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It all started not long after I had been discharge from Orthopeadics for my ankle and I began to notice that I was starting to have serious problems swallowing so I went to my GP and was sent for a camera down my throat which showed up nothing. The swallowing was getting worse so I went back to my GP who then sent a referral to the ear, nose and throat clinic. I saw a lovely consutant and she sent me for an urgent swallow test. This test showed up some kind of obstruction outside of my food and wind pipe... I was shown the pictures on the day- it was rather fascinating. I was sent for a needle aspiration of this lump. All through these tests they kept reassuring me they were just routine and it was doubtful there would be anything to worry about. It was a few days after the needle aspiration lump that the ENT constlant wanted to see me urgently that day and could I go in. I then began to think the worst and the fears were confirmed... we think you have cancer... and it's probably Hodgkin's Lymphoma...

I was then transferred to the care of the Heamotology department of the local hospital where a bone marrow sample was taken and more bloods were taken too...

During a meeting at The Chrisite Hospital about my case, my heamotology consultant was told about a trial I could go on. I eneded up on the trial and then in the care of The Christie Hospital rather than my local hospital.

I started the treament after appointments to explain it all and after undergoing fertility preservation just in case.

The first few treaments weren't too bad and after the first cycle we go the anti-sickness concoction of drugs right but I then started to suffer with anticipation sickness and it go to the point where I couldn't even get through the door of the hopsital without throwing up. It made going even harder and harder but I had some complementary therapy and by my last dose I was able to walk into the hospital and not be sick.

It was a hard six months and it was hard to deal with the effect the chemotherapy was having on my body with cripping fatigue, weakness and of course losing my hair and feeling ugly because of it.

At times I didn't think I was going to make it through to the end but I had my sights fixed on 30th November 2015- the date of my last dose. And I made it.

After life being on hold for 6 months and missing out on so much and also my contract with my old job coming to an end in the middle of my treatment I was determined to get back to some normality and as quickly as possible. By the end of January this year I was feeling a lot more like myself and then and advert for a dream job of working with dogs came up so I applied and three weeks later started full time with the new company!

I still get tired and still don't like that my hair is short but my remission was confirmed on 31st December 2015 and I have no doubt that it will be confirmed on the 8th April at my next appointment. I am still scared that it will come back and that the next scans will not show up that it's still in remission but all the doctors and nurses that I have come into contact with have always been so positive that I cling onto the fact that they're not worried about me.

It has been the worst 2 years but things are starting to look up.

If you are going through it at the moment... you will get there. Everyone is different but it is all about living life to the full now...

Thanks for reading :) and remember, you are not alone!






Eleanor Baggley

This is such a lovely blog, Zoe, thank you for sharing. You've been through so much and I can't even begin to imagine how difficult the last two years have been, but it's wonderful to hear that things are looking up and that you've found your dream job (working with dogs - amazing!). I hope everything goes well with your appointment next month - if there's anything we can do to support you please do let us know. Best wishes, Eleanor

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