A mum-to-be who thought she had common pregnancy symptoms was given just eight weeks to live after she discovered she actually had a rare form of cancer.
Kylie Dixon was suffering with night sweats and itchy legs when she was pregnant with her son Jake, but when they persisted for six months after he was born she received some devastating news.
Kylie, who is from Newton-le Willows, Mersyside, was told that she was suffering from an aggressive form of Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare type of blood cancer, and advised that she could have up to eight weeks to live, reported the Liverpool Echo.
When she was first diagnosed in 2011, Kylie underwent nine months of chemotherapy and was thought to be in remission, but relapsed and had to endure more chemo and a bone marrow transplant.
Thankfully, after responding well to treatment, Kylie, now 32, is cancer-free a decade later, and she is now urging everyone to run, walk or jog 5k for Cancer Research UK.
She said: “Going through cancer treatment is the hardest, most gruelling journey I’ve ever experienced.
“A lot of the symptoms I first experienced, like the itchy legs and night sweats, are common in pregnant women so everyone just assumed they were normal signs of pregnancy.
“It was only much later when I developed a lump in my neck that I was sent for more urgent testing, which was six months after giving birth to my little boy.
“To be told at that point that I only had eight weeks to live was devastating, especially with a new baby. What should have been the happiest time of my life suddenly turned into a living nightmare.”
Despite the severity of her situation, there was one big worry on Kylie’s mind when she started her chemotherapy.
“One of the first questions I asked was whether I was going to lose my hair.
“It was such a massive part of my identity and in some ways I felt like I’d rather die than lose it.”
Now she has made a full recovery, Kylie is urging everyone who notices an unusual change in their body to see their doctor.
She is also encouraging people to support cancer chairties by doing some fundraising, and will be taking part in the Race For Life later this year to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
Charities have been hit hard by the pandemic over the last year, and Cancer Research UK is predicting it will lose £300million income from cancelled fundraisers.
The charity had to cancel all 400 of its Race For Life events last year, and is running the Race For Life at Home this year so people can still take part.
Kylie said: “Without treatment I wouldn’t be here today and that’s why I want to do everything I can to support people going through cancer right now.
“I hope people across the North West will get behind Race for Life at Home and help raise funds for research to develop gentler and more effective treatments for cancer.”