Symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion could be early signs of cancer. Bryana was persistent in getting her non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and shared her advice along the journey.
I was young, active, and in the best shape of my life.
The first symptom I experienced was extreme fatigue which I didn’t think much of because everyone gets tired. Then I started catching colds back-to-back with swollen lymph nodes in my neck that wouldn’t go away. Another symptom I had was itchiness on my whole body which I assumed was a reaction to my body wash or water. I also lost twenty pounds unintentionally in two weeks.
I had made appointments with a sleep specialist about my chronic fatigue, and they couldn’t find anything wrong about a year and a half before my diagnosis. I was on a bachelorette trip in Vegas when I got sick again. I was fairly certain I had caught Covid this time, which landed me in the emergency room just five days after returning from Vegas. My oxygen levels were very low, and I was immediately put on 4 liters of oxygen.
My team of doctors decided to do a CT scan after hearing wheezing from my chest. The CT scan showed an abnormal 5cm mass pushing on my bronchial tubes, making it very difficult for me to breathe. The following PET scan I had done after getting biopsies of my bone marrow and lymph nodes showed a second, 4cm mass in my pelvis. This meant I was stage 4 and had to start treatment immediately, two days after my initial diagnosis.
The best advice I can give cancer fighters out there is to take it one day at a time. It’s okay not to feel okay while undergoing such intense treatment! Try your best to eat healthy, exercise, and listen to your body when something doesn’t feel right!
I was reading other cancer patient stories when I came across DetecTogether and was inspired to share my own story. Cancer is a long, tough battle, but with the right support, it is a battle that can be won.
- Persistent colds
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Unexplained weight loss