Nisa’s Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Story


Being a teenager isn’t easy, especially in today’s world. Like every teenage girl, I cared about how I looked- and the day when I had clumps of my hair coming out in my hands was definitely tough. But I had to take control, and I did: I got my hair shaved, that day.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when I had just turned seventeen. I had one tumor that was almost 5″ in diameter in my chest, which caused my lung to collapse. I had another five tumors throughout my body, in my organs, blood, and bones.

I had to have fifteen doses of chemotherapy – six of which were given directly into my spinal fluid via a lumbar puncture – and fifteen doses of radiotherapy to my largest tumor, in my chest.

I prefer not to dwell on the illness. I’m very open and honest about my cancer, however – it’s strange, but I can honestly say that cancer saved my life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something I want to face ever again, and it’s not something I would wish on anyone. But I was struggling to cope with my mental health, and having such a severe diagnosis helped me put things in perspective. It helped me realize that I wasn’t as alone as I felt. I’m still dealing with my anxiety disorder and depression, today – but I am in such a different place than I was, pre-diagnosis. 

I love the person I’m growing into, at age nineteen – And cancer is just one small part of that person’s story.

GRYT is returning to high school as an adult to get the qualifications cancer held me back from as a teenager.

GRYT is telling myself that whatever life throws my way, I’ve beat stage 4 cancer – I can handle it.

GRYT is looking at the three small dots I have tattooed on my chest from radiotherapy with a smile.

GRYT is celebrating the small victories and building towards the big victories.

my social media links are:

instagram: @shiroganejpg

twitter: @shiroganejpg

and my (no longer active) cancer blog is

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