Young woman diagnosed with stage 4 blood cancer after initial symptoms of lymphoma in the Galapagos Islands
A woman who collapsed in a supermarket after doctors told her her symptoms were caused by stress has been diagnosed with stage four cancer.
Mollie Mulheron, 24, had recently returned from a trip to the Galapagos Islands where she was starting to experience symptoms, but doctors assured her she was just “too stressed”.
Although Mulheron had such trouble breathing that she nearly drowned while snorkeling, doctors insisted the problems were “in her head.”
However, upon her return to the UK, she collapsed in public and was rushed to hospital – where doctors diagnosed her with a 15cm tumor that had spread to her heart and lungs.
Mollie has now been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She says she still can’t fathom what happened.
Mollie said: “That was the worst news of my life, I can’t even explain how it feels now.
“I just cried and screamed and screamed — it was out of nowhere, I knew something was wrong but I didn’t think it was that wrong.
“I’m waiting to hear how widespread it is. That doesn’t mean I’ll die tomorrow, but it does mean that treatment must start now.
“They gave me an injection to try to preserve my fertility so children are out of the question. It put me into early menopause, it’s the worst thing for me as I always wanted to be a mom.”
Mollie from Skipton, Leeds had traveled to the Galapagos Islands to pursue her dream of traveling.
There she worked as an English teacher and enjoyed exploring the tropical islands.
However, she developed symptoms such as difficulty breathing and swallowing. Typical signs of non-Hodgkin lymphoma may include swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin, abdominal pain or swelling, chest pain, coughing or difficulty breathing, persistent tiredness, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.
She was told there weren’t enough students for her to teach, so she booked a flight home for February 4 – but within 48 hours of landing in the UK, she collapsed and started throwing up in a supermarket.
An ambulance was called and Mollie was taken to hospital where she underwent blood tests, X-rays and CT scans.
She received the devastating diagnosis and said the tumor had affected her heart.
Doctors prescribed steroids to stop the tumor from growing. Due to the advanced stage, Mollie quickly began chemotherapy.
“I’ve been fit and healthy my whole life, I’ve always been fine – I don’t know what caused that, I’m healthy and young, three weeks ago I was in the Galapagos living my best life,” Mollie said.
“I still can’t believe it – [when I was told] I screamed to my mother about my future plans, that I wanted to be a mother and get married, all I could do was stare at the wall and cry and scream.
“The doctors immediately put me on steroids to stop the tumor from growing while they were trying to figure out what was going on.
“They couldn’t start treatment until they knew exactly what it was, so I waited for the biopsy to come back.
“When I finally got the results, it wasn’t what we were hoping for – it’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is rare and aggressive.
“Doctors seem hopeful they can treat it and say the success rate for the type of cancer I have is good and it looks hopeful.
“The only sad thing is that it’s stage four, which means it’s on both sides of my chest and has spread to other parts of my body.
“I started chemotherapy and had a bad reaction to the first treatment but the doctors said it was because they started it too quickly and after that it was fine, I just had a few side effects like a headache.
“Doctors say they can try many treatments because I’m young, fit and healthy.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/blood-cancer-lymphoma-symptoms-stress-b2298725.html Young woman diagnosed with stage 4 blood cancer after initial symptoms of lymphoma in the Galapagos Islands