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Inspirational Stories

Alana

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)

Buda, TX

I am a stage two Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)  survivor. My story starts on June 19, 2021 when my family and I were out eating dinner having a normal saturday night when I noticed a notification from my smart watch telling me that my heart rate was really high. At first my mom and I just thought it was the heat cause we were sitting outside and it was still very hot outside, but shortly after that I started not to feel right. I started to feel unwell in a way that I couldn’t really describe.

We got done with dinner and I got in the air conditioning in the car. I got the notification again so my mom made a phone call to our primary doctors office to see if she should take me into the emergency room. So my mom took me to Baylor Scott located in Austin, TX. They ran some tests and did an x-ray of my chest and they found a mass that was up against my lung, so they had no other choice than to send me to Dell's Children's Hospital located in Austin, TX.

At that point I was crying non-stop and I was scared I have never been in the hospital for myself. Now I was getting ready to go into the ambulance, the lovely people in the ambulance were able to calm me down and make me laugh. Thirty long minutes later we arrived where they put another IV in my arm and took more tests. Later that morning at 8:30 they moved me to a room and admitted me. Everything from then is a blur.

That whole week was a blur I only remember little tiny parts somewhere good like meeting all of my amazing nurses on the cancer floor and my amazing oncologist.

The oncologist on June 21, 2021 telling me that I had the big C word cancer. At first my mind went blank and I had no clue what lymphoma even meant but then I looked over at my mom and I knew that something was very wrong. Then I heard the word chemotherapy then I broke down crying. That same day I had a pic line put into my arms the very next day, I started chemotherapy.

Now having cancer at 16 just starting my junior year of high school was a very confusing time. It honestly made me really start to miss my life before cancer. On the first day of school I was waiting for my bus and someone that was in one of my classes from the year before asked me if I was wearing a wig and what happened to me over the summer. I kinda just looked at her and smiled and walked away. The next day I had treatment and one of the child life nurses came in because I was complaining about it to my oncology nurse. She told me how I can deal with people when they say stuff like that.

After that day my treatments got harder and more difficult so I wasn’t able to attend school in person. But after Christmas break I finally went back and I found myself missing my old life again. I just had to keep on reminding myself that I am healthy now, and I can do anything that I want to do now.

On November 5, 2021 I went to my oncologist for him to tell me that finally after 6 months I was told that I was cancer free.

Thank you to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) for all of the support resources not only financially but emotionally as well. My advice for people that are going through this rough time is that you are doing the best that you possibly can do at the moment and that you are so strong, and to just take it one day at a time.

Alana