Dizzy’s star for her beautiful baby Thea
"The Royal Marsden saved my life. They are the reason we were able to bring Thea into this world and have her in our lives and I couldn’t be more grateful."
This year, Dizzy and her family are taking part in Celebrate a Life for the first time. Dizzy decided to take part as a way to say thank you to the hospital after her treatment for stage 4 Hodgkin Lymphoma and plans to name a star for her miracle baby, Thea.
“In April 2018 I found a lump in my neck and my local health centre referred me to The Royal Marsden quite quickly, where I underwent about 3 weeks of tests, scans, and biopsies. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin Lymphoma and no idea what to think. I was only 25 years old and all I could focus on were the negatives, it was all so scary.
“I had fertility preserving treatment before my chemotherapy. Having to do fertility preservation treatment at 25 years old when you’re not really thinking about that aspect of your life is quite terrifying.
“Everything happened really quickly. I started my chemotherapy at the beginning of June and from then on, everything seemed to get better. Immediately you feel like you’re tackling the problem when you start treatment.
“By November 2018, my one-month control scan after treatment showed that the cancer hadn’t all gone. That was the day before my 26th birthday party which was also meant to be my post chemo party."
"That was another truly terrible day, but we still went on to have the party the next day and danced all night long! We had an awesome time. It was ABBA themed, and everyone was on top form, everyone was so committed to having the best time and show cancer who’s boss.
“I had fertility treatment as an extra precaution before starting treatment but when my first line treatment of chemotherapy didn’t work, I was told I needed to go onto a second treatment which was a different chemotherapy, followed by a stem cell transplant which was very, very likely to cause irreparable infertility."
“I needed to get to ‘no evidence of disease’ on my scans before my stem cells could be harvested in order to undergo a stem cell transplant. My cancer cell count finally got to zero after two more months of treatment and I was able to have the stem cell transplant in March 2019."
“Before my first scan post-transplant, I got myself in a really dark place as I was in the headspace that the transplant hadn’t worked and that the worst news was coming. But my women’s intuition is clearly lacking because my scan showed no evidence of disease, and I haven’t looked back since!"
Support from my clinical nurse specialist
"The nurses on the Medical Day Unit are just amazing. They remember your name every week and they make you feel like you’re their favourite patient. My clinical nurse specialist Jane was, and still is, my guiding light. She was the first person who made cancer seem manageable. It was because of her that I found out I was pregnant!"
“I rang Jane last year when I was feeling anxious as cancer seemed to be rearing its ugly head again around me with lots of people I knew having tests. I was also experiencing some strange things in my body like not having a period for 3 months and feeling tired. "It was so beyond the realm of possibility in my mind that I could be pregnant that I thought I was going through early menopause triggered by the stem cell transplant, which could well have been the case.
"I told Jane about these funny feelings and she told me to get a pregnancy test. I was in shock - lo and behold I was three months pregnant! I rang her straight back to tell her. She was such a sounding board and such a comfort to me. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy as I thought this would never happen for me, it felt like a miracle."
Taking part in Celebrate a Life
“Thea has just turned one, she was born last September. I’ve decided to take part in Celebrate a Life this year to name a star after her because she is our little miracle baby. We are so lucky to have her, I really thought it would be impossible for me to ever get pregnant after my cancer diagnosis and all my treatment."
“The Royal Marsden saved my life. They do such phenomenal work. They are the reason we were able to bring Thea into this world and have her in our lives and I couldn’t be more grateful."
“Thanks to The Royal Marsden, I celebrated my three-year cancer-versary earlier this year and my brother Fred took part in the Marathon Des Sables, an ultramarathon in the Sahara Desert, to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity as a way of marking this milestone – raising over £30,000."
“We can’t wait to take part in Celebrate a Life this Christmas for the first time as a family, to celebrate a year of us having Thea and to thank the hospital for all that they’ve done.”
This Christmas, we invite you to dedicate a star to someone special.
By naming a star for someone special and making a donation, you are making a vital difference to the lives of cancer patients and their families.
Find out more about Celebrate a Life.