I am currently 48 years old. In 1986, when I was 19 just turning 20 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma Stage 3 at Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute. I began chemotherapy in March but got very depressed and stopped having my treatment after 4 or 5 courses. In November I went back for tests and the cancer had stayed static. They decided to begin radiotherapy. I had 4 weeks on the upper mantle and then 4 weeks on the lower mantle. This finished in March 1987. Later in the year around July or August the cancer reappeared and a stronger courser of chemo was prescribed. This time it took 9 months to have six months of chemo as I kept getting infections and had to be hospitalised and have blood transfusions. My treatment finished in March 1988 and I have been in remission from Hodgkin's since then. When I was 23, I was officially diagnosed with premature menopause due to the radiation therapy that I had and I was put on HRT.In 2009 I had a thyroidectomy.
In 2011 during a routine mammogram a breast lump was found and subsequently discovered to be cancerous. I had a mastectomy and was taken off HRT and put on tamoxifen. The following year a lump was found in the remaining breast and I had another mastectomy and complete reconstruction. The medication was changed to letrozole. As there is no history of breast cancer in the family it is believed that it is quite possible that it was the radiotherapy that I had that probably caused the breast cancer.
I joined the register to participate in any research programs that I might be eligible for. I think that something positive should be able to come from the ill health and experience that I have gone through. I also think mine has been a somewhat unusual case that might be helpful to researchers.