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LILY’S CAMPAIGN

Lily was diagnosed with a blood cancer called lymphoma. The following are all Lily’s words, shared with the Leukaemia Foundation to help raise awareness of blood cancer during September’s Blood Cancer Awareness Month 2019. You can share your story, too, by clicking here.

Hi! My name’s Ash and when I was diagnosed with stage 2a Hodgkin lymphoma [a type of blood cancer] I was 26 years old.

I had just had a really tough pregnancy with hyperemesis gravidarum [severe vomiting during pregnancy] that may have masked my cancer symptoms. As far as I knew, three weeks post birth of my beautiful little boy, Blake, I had a mastitis infection and that was all.

A large lymph node came up suddenly near my collarbone.

I saw multiple doctors and specialists who all told me it was likely infection.

I actually was turned away from a biopsy and was told to come back in four weeks. Luckily they did agree to do a chest X-ray.

The second that chest X-ray was done there was sheer panic from the doctor. He went from being really nice and chatty to not being able to look me in the eye.

I had a large tumour in my chest and multiple tumours up my throat.

I didn’t know what type of cancer at that point but I was told it was cancer.

Coming home to my little boy that day and looking at this perfect little baby and thinking about the possibility of him missing out on a mum, and not knowing how much I loved him, absolutely broke my heart. To this day it’s something I haven’t recovered from.

Treatment was tough but minimal, luckily I found [blood cancer] early. After treatment I found it very tough.

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I struggled with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and finding my way as a mum.

I’m now two years in remission and life is great. I thank cancer for helping me truly live my life and be grateful for each moment.

My little boy is such a happy and kind little boy who definitely knows how much I love him and that I’m not going anywhere.

Eighteen months into remission I found out I was pregnant with a little girl!! What a surprise! What a blessing.

I’m scared but I know it’ll be ok.

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