Hi, my name is Kade Golisano, I am 21 years old and have just been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer stage 2B.
Have you ever heard of this cancer? Well I hadn't and I am wanting to let people know as this cancer is rare around 600 cases a year Australia wide.
The peak age is between 15-30 years old and generally more males than females.
Like most teenagers I thought I was fit and healthy and in some ways I was, it took approximately 2 years to finally be diagnosed and by then the diagnosis was STAGE 2B, how I wished it has been diagnosed at stage 1.
My dad and brother shaved their heads with me.
Why did it take so long? The symptoms can be quite mild at the start and because you are young and healthy you really don't concern yourself with them too much, even the Doctors I went to see thought the same. This is why I want to make people aware of how easy it is, not just for you but also for Doctors not to take these symptoms seriously.
Swelling of Glands – mainly in neck, armpits or groin, yes they may just be swollen due to an infection (like the Doctors told me ) but they also may not as what has happen to me, there could be a lot more to it than that.
Weight Loss – apparently quite an important symptom but hey I did not have this, symptoms aren't the same for everyone.
Night Sweats – yes I had these but again it did not concern the Doctors I saw!!! – have found out now it's a symptom that needs looking seriously into.
Rashes – any rashes on your body with any of the about symptoms needs looking into – I had rashes on my legs for about 6 months Doctors put it down to either allergies or dermatitis !!!!
Fevers Frequently – I never had any of these, but they are definitely worth taking seriously if you are getting them often.
Fatigue – I was asked every time I went to the Doctor are you tired? No was always my reply, this is a symptom that most people who have this cancer experience but not me.
I feel the most important thing that should be done if you are experiencing any of these symptoms is full blood tests. Two Doctors over the course of the 2 years put my swollen glands in my neck down to infection from acne on my face, if one of those two Doctors had given me the blood tests and monitored my bloods over the 2 years things would be different.
Nothing was going to stop me from getting lymphoma but instead of my diagnosis being stage 2B it could have been diagnosed at stage 1. I now have to have chemotherapy for 6 to 8 months every 2 weeks, the cancer is in my lymph nodes in my neck and chest. If I had been diagnosed sooner chemo would have been only 4 to 6 months as the cancer would not have spread.
This cancer has turned my life upside down, I was about to become an electrical tradesman, get my own work van and start working on my own jobs,4 years of an apprenticeship was over, life was great, I was looking forward to planned fishing trips away, going to Bali, and Broome this year. That is all now on hold till I get well again. You know I never felt really sick – I'm lucky that my Mum finally demanded blood tests because if she hadn't I would still be thinking there was nothing wrong and my diagnosis would have been a lot worse.
There is not a lot of awareness for Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer so any donation would help to go towards awareness and research.
Thank you for reading my story.