A woman who froze her eggs after being diagnosed with blood cancer is encouraging others to do the same as she launches a blog.
At the beginning last month, Laura Heney, of St Annes, was told she had classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the chemotherapy would affect her chances of having children. All of a sudden, the 25-year-old was preparing for something she had not even thought of and had her eggs frozen.
As she now starts chemotherapy, she has launched a blog - Living With Larry - detailing her journey and hopes other women with cancer consider fertility treatment too.
She said: “When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was not just dealing with that, but everything around it, as it affects your work, your and relationships - everything.
“Chemotherapy can make you infertile and as I was approaching 25 I had to re-evaluate my whole life. I had to sit down with my partner, Darren Brade, and have a conversation about children. Ultimately, my choice had been taken away. Even if you think you don’t want children, you should at lease go through the treatment, as this is one of the biggest things in your life. You may decide you do want children in 10 years’ time.”
Although Laura was diagnosed last month, her symptoms go back to last September. She said: “I had lots of different symptoms, such as bad skin, dermatitis, fatigue, alopecia, Vitamin D deficiency and anaemia, so doctors thought it was all linked with having an iron deficiency, but it wasn’t.
“My GP told me it was all linked with stress, anxiety and depression, but I knew it was not.
“My mum, who is a nurse, kept pushing and so I eventually had some blood tests, which indicated I had a blood clot. I was admitted to Blackpool Victoria and I had a chest x-ray which showed a shadow in my lungs.
“As a result, I was sent for a CT scan, but that took three weeks to organise. When I eventually had that, my consultant at Blackpool Victoria said I would need a biopsy, but there was a bit of a wait for that. So I went privately a few days later and was diagnosed with lymphoma on July 1.
“I am lucky my mum kept pushing as she knew something wasn’t right but I want to warn people that if they are ill, they have to keep pushing, as five years down the line you don’t want to realise it’s too late.”
Laura is also hoping her story will help her raise funds for Lymphoma Action, dedicated to research and treatment for the blood cancer. Her friends have already raised £333 by organising a sports day.
Her bosses and colleagues at Skipton Building Society in St Annes will take part in Walk the Lights along the Blackpool Illuminations on August 27 and a team of dedicated individuals will tackle Tough Mudder on September 8.
Laura added: “Not many people know what lymphoma is and what to look out for. But Lymphoma Action is the only charity dedicated to lymphoma sets out all the information clearly. It has helped me, so I wanted to give something back.”
Laura added she wants her blog to provide extra support to others going through the same process.
She said: “I had read a few blogs but I found them upsetting so I wanted something that was still honest, but more optimistic.
“Not many women with cancer think about their fertility, so I wanted to highlight that.
“I did not want to refer to the cancer as lymphoma, so I call it Larry. I want to show that cancer sucks but it is not the worst thing in the world.”
To read Laura’s blog visit www.livinglifewithlarry.blogspot.com/
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/laura039s-lymphoma-journey