At 22, I was extremely active and loved to go on adventures. I ran and biked a lot and I was even able to backpack through the Swiss Alps and Patagonia. I was rarely sick and had no medical issues.
The first health changes I noticed were very subtle: a lack of appetite, back pain when drinking alcohol, tiredness, light fevers and just feeling “off”.
I mentioned a couple of these symptoms at my yearly physical. My doctor didn’t take much notice of them and wasn’t too concerned. They seemed like such small health changes, and I was otherwise healthy, so I thought I must have just had a little bad luck with sickness of late.
About four months later, I started experiencing drenching night sweats and shortness of breath. I went back to the doctors and told them about these new symptoms.
I was sent to the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. They did some scans to get more information, and that’s when they found the cancer. I had Hodgkin lymphoma.
I now tell everyone to listen to your body! You know yourself better than anyone. If something feels wrong, there is no harm in getting it checked.
If you don’t like the answer you get from a doctor or if you feel like they are not taking you seriously, find a second opinion or ask about running tests. Advocate for yourself and your health.
- loss of appetite
- pain in back when consuming alcohol
- low-grade fevers