Location: Shropshire, UK
Diagnosis: High Grade Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Hi I'm Zoe. I'm 35-years-old, live in Shropshire and am a mother of 3 to a 14-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 3-year-old.
I was diagnosed in May 2018 with high grade Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, detected as intraocular in both of my eyes. I honestly was broken when I was told and my first thought was that I wouldn’t be here to see my children grow up.
I was given a 30-40% survival rate and I felt like my world was caving in.
After attending my brothers wedding in Spain and trying my best to have a nice few days and forget about it, I started a very intense chemotherapy called 'The Matrix' and although it was tough I got through it with only a few infections and one severe lung infection. I had to have my chemotherapy as an in-patient and it was hard being away from my children for a week at a time with additional subsequent stays due to infections.
It was hard losing my hair, but I've since gained a big collection of wigs and headscarves. The physical side of it hit me hard; the fluid and drugs made me gain a lot of weight and as a former anorexic this was really hard to look in the mirror and not even recognise the person looking back at you. My eyebrows and eyelashes fell out and I just felt like I was slowly losing 'me', but post-chemotherapy everything has started to get easier.
I’ve just had my stem cell transplant and my last two MRI's have shown I am in complete remission.
One piece of advice:
Keep going guys. It’s tough, but you are certainly tougher! I found that doing charity work has helped me to take something positive out of a bad situation.
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Brave Collective. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.