Teenage Battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma Inspires Life as an Athlete
When Lottie Bildirici was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 14, all she wanted was to complete her treatment and to get on with her life. However, as soon as she did, Bildirici could not shake the feeling that she was meant to do something meaningful with the experience - and she did.
As a teenager, Bildirici’s life was thrown a curveball when she noticed an abnormal bump on her neck one afternoon. Her mother took her to the pediatrician, where she was prescribed antibiotics to see if it might be an infection. However, when the medication failed to produce results, Bildirici was sent to see a cancer specialist. Two weeks later, after undergoing a series of tests, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It was a ‘good news/bad news’ combination. The good news was that generally, young teenagers with newly diagnosed Hodgkin’s lymphoma could be treated and cured. The bad news, however, was that the cancer had already spread to her spleen, making it stage III. This meant that her treatment, including 4 months of chemotherapy followed by one month of radiation therapy, would have to start right away. “It was a complete out-of-body experience. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me” said Bildirici.
All throughout her treatment, Bildirici felt dizzy and nauseous. “Every day I would wake up with the room spinning, I couldn’t go a day without vomiting. I lost all of my hair – eyebrows, lashes, all of it gone. I would look in the mirror and could barely recognize who was looking back at me” she said.
Read on to learn more about Lottie’s journey.