Chloe was 13 when she found out she had cancer. She felt some lumps in her neck when learning how to find a pulse during a science class. After visits to her GP and a referral to hospital, a biopsy confirmed she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Chloe and her family were devastated and overwhelmed when they heard the diagnosis. CLIC Sargent Social Worker Heather stepped in ready to help, support and guide.
After being given the all clear in November 2015, the cancer returned when she was 15. Heather was there for the whole family throughout.
Here’s Chloe’s story.
"They called us into the room and my doctor said, 'We’ve got to tell you something quite serious, but we will go through it all with you. We will tell you everything and not hide anything. You have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma'.
“My dad knew what that meant and my mum just burst out crying. I was just standing there because I didn’t know what that meant. As soon as he said cancer the first thing I thought of was being bald. I didn’t know anything about chemo, so I just thought of that first. Then I realised that I was going to be really ill. Then I thought about the fact that we would have to tell all of the family and friends. It was overwhelming.
The impact of treatment
Having chemotherapy had a huge impact on the way she felt.
“I hated the way it made me look and feel. I was losing my hair and the steroids were making me eat and put on weight. It was one of the hardest things for me. You don’t like how you feel at all.
"Heather helped me come to terms with the fact that I had cancer, but that there was help for me. I needed to know that.”
Chloe has now finished cancer treatment but has scans every three months.
“I would like to think I can put the cancer behind me completely, but it still affects the way I think. I think differently about my daily life, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
“I still catch up with Heather whenever I can. If we are in hospital I will try and go and see her. It’s always nice to see her and talk to her and we know we always can.”
When cancer strikes young lives we do all we can to limit the damage it causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent Social Workers like Heather are relentless, working alongside NHS teams to ensure families and young people like Chloe get the support they need.
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