In November of 2016, the fall semester of my senior year of college, I began to notice I was more out of breath than normal. I was struggling to get a good breath in, but each time I went to the doctor I was told my oxygen was fine, so it was nothing to worry about. The SOB continued, so I visited a specialist where I was diagnosed with asthma. I was convinced this was the answer to my persisting breathing issues the past few months, and focused on enjoying the last semester of college, even though my breathing issues persisted.
For spring break, I visited Cabo with my friends. The week before I had a week long fever, and the doctor was convinced I had the flu even though the test came back normal. I also explained to the doctor that I had been itching, but was told to change my soap and deodorant because I was probably having an allergic reaction. I decided to go through with the trip. When I put on a bathing suit the first day, I noticed a lump the size of a ping pong ball above my right collar bone. Because I was only 21, I figured there was no way it could be anything and brushed it off as a pulled muscle or random bump.
After I graduated college, I returned home to Atlanta and noticed that my shortness of breath was getting worse, and I had little to no energy. The lump above my collar bone was still there, and thanks to google I realized that what I had wasn't a bump, but a swollen lymph node. I was sure it was just an infection, or maybe mono, as lymph nodes can swell up for many reasons. My mom convinced me I needed to go to the doctor, and just a few weeks later I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma stage 2A, non-bulky. I was lucky to go to the doctor when I did and catch the cancer before it spread too far. The cancer is located in the clavicular region(around my collar bone), my neck, under my armpits, around my heart, and in my mediastinum which had been causing my shortness of breath. This type of cancer also causes itching, which explains the symptoms I was having earlier in the year.
My first chemotherapy takes place on July 6, and I will undergo approximately 4 rounds of chemotherapy.