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Alex Andrea’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma)

My journey started in May 2012. I had a cough and swollen neck and didn’t feel well.

I went to the ER and got misdiagnosed three separate times. They said it was either a virus, injury, goiter, or thyroid problems. When the doctor left, the nurse finally said, “Something’s wrong here. Go see your doctor immediately.”

My doctor took CT scans and was pretty sure it was cancer—lymphoma. It was one of the worst days of my life. I was scared to death! I asked what the outcome would be, and she said it depended on the type of lymphoma and stage. For the next few days, I had biopsies, surgeries, and tests to determine it was stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was only 15 years old.

I was sick all the time. Some days I would have 12 hours of vomiting, and meds didn’t help.

I was on morphine and narcotics for pain and didn’t really know what was happening during this time. I lost 30 pounds from a breathing tube cutting my throat, since I couldn’t breathe during my first two surgeries. I was allergic to chemo drugs, and I went into anaphylactic shock and had uncontrollable shaking for hours. I had lots of doctors and nurses near me to try and stop it. They gave me an oxygen mask to breathe. At this point, they were very worried because it wasn’t stopping.

I had a few blood transfusions because I had such low blood counts from the chemotherapy, and I could barely walk because of it. Four surgeries total.

I lost all my hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. All of that put me in a lot more depression then I already was in. I only went to school a few days because I was still very sick and was hospitalized most of the time. I encountered bullying, while I was sick. This was something I couldn’t imagine would even be possible. When you’re feeling horrible and someone can make you feel even worse.

I try and forget it all, but it made a lasting impression on my life. But I was also blessed with wonderful people to help me get through everything!

In February 2013, I was cancer free, but then, two years later, they thought I had cancer again. Thankfully, I didn’t. Then this past summer, my doctor thought I might have had bone cancer. I went through all the tests again, and it turned out I was okay!!! Not all of my story, but it’s a rough overview.


Alex Andrea
Submitted 11/02/2017

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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One comment

  1. Amelia

    So much that you have overcome. You are an amazingly strong woman. Blessing to you and your family.

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