Before my diagnosis, I was healthy, active, and rarely got sick.
The first health change I noticed was itchy skin, all over. Nothing helped and no matter how much I scratched, nothing could get to the itch.
I first reported the itching to my primary care doctor and also a dermatologist. I followed their advice to change my soaps, creams and detergents but still the itch persisted.
I eventually went to three dermatologists, two allergists, a gastrointestinal doctor, and a naturopath over the course of 3-4 years. Eventually, each one gave up on me and I was dismissed. Many looked at me like I was crazy and I began to think I was.
It wasn’t until I found a lump above my collarbone that I knew what was happening. My doctor continued to brush me off but I insisted on an otolaryngologist consult. The moment I had my needle biopsy, I knew it was cancer.
My advice for others who may read my story is, if you feel that something is different or wrong, don’t dismiss that feeling. You are most likely correct, and your intuition could save your life. Don’t give up looking for answers, no matter how frustrating.
My oncologist told me a simple chest X-ray could have detected my lymphoma. Maybe they could have caught it before it got to stage 4.
- severe itching
- lump on collarbone