Kate on treatment and side effects

Kate in her kitchen
Kate in her kitchen

Kate had a range of treatments, after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma

She found the side effects very difficult, but remains optimistic about her prognosis. 

Kate's story

I have now been having chemotherapy for 6 months. I am now on my third different type of chemotherapy. 

Being on chemotherapy can be really hard. It made me feel quite nauseous. My wonderful consultant gave me lots of drugs to help me manage that, but the feeling of sickness never really went away. 

I restricted what I could eat. And for me, that was hugely frustrating, because I love my food.

It got to a stage where I was so tired. I could barely bring myself out of bed in the morning. My mum and sister used to come in and make me breakfast. Sometimes that was all I could face.

Losing my hair is something that I definitely feared. I remember running my fingers through my hair and seeing the normal strands that you get, and I convinced myself I was losing my hair. But they said no, once you start losing it, you’ll know – and they weren’t wrong.

When I started losing my hair, it was coming out in chunks. I remember taking a shower one day and my hair was just streaming down the drain. It got to the stage where my pillow was just covered with hair when I woke up in the morning. I was eating my hair and drinking it in my tea.

The process of losing your hair is horrible. There’s no two ways about it. Particularly for a woman, hair is such a big part of our idea of beauty. I really felt like I had no control.

Fortunately, I have made tremendous progress. A cancer that was initially ravaging my entire body has been reduced to one patch under my left armpit. Considering where I started, I can’t quite believe my progress. But it continues to be a long road ahead. 

Hopefully at some stage in 2015, the cancer will be sufficiently bought under control for me to undergo a stem cell transplant. The hope is that this will cure me. So the outcome looks good but it is not an easy journey.

I cannot express how lucky I feel that I have a very positive prognosis. 

Watch: all about Kate's experiences

Watch: all about Kate's experiences