In today’s post, I want to talk about Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) and also share a remarkable story from the wife of a former England rugby union star who turned away from over three years of failed conventional treatment, including chemotherapy and multiple stem cell transplants, to heal her cancer naturally only a few months after being given between four weeks and a year to live in April 2017.
Tiffany Youngs was a 28-year-old mother of a 16-week-old baby girl, Maisie, when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) in 2014. Her husband, Tom, was captain of the Leicester Tigers rugby team and a former England international. Tiff had had a cough and been suffering from extreme tiredness that she just couldn’t shake off when she decided to visit her doctor in 2014. After blood tests and a biopsy to determine if the cancer was Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, HL was the confirmed diagnosis. Tiff immediately started conventional treatment in the form of multiple chemotherapy sessions, a stem cell transplant from her own cells and, when that failed, multiple stem cell transplants from different donors. During this traumatic period which lasted over three years, Tiff also had to bring up a small child, but was fortunate to receive so much support from her husband who cooked all of her meals for her while she was in hospital and continually reassured her about her physical appearance as the treatments took their toll on her health. However, the customary scan 100 days after Tiff’s final donor stem cell transplant revealed that the treatment had failed and, in fact, that new spots of cancer had appeared. It was at this point, in April 2017, that Tiff was diagnosed as terminal and given between a month and a year to live.
However, Tiffany, motivated by her love for her daughter and husband, wasn’t prepared to let it rest there and so started researching alternative therapies. She went to London to visit two ladies, one of whom was a nutritionist, and was put on a strict diet of green juices and fish, but no red meat, dairy, sugar, tea or coffee, as well as fasting for 17 hours a day between 7.00pm and noon the next day. She also visited them twice a week for ENS Cosmodic machine treatment which involved a hand-held device with three prongs on it being rolled across her back to send electric impulses into her body to help it stimulate cells into doing what they should be doing and excrete those cells which were not good for her body. Tiff also found a supplier for THC cannabis oil which she took in the evening before going to bed. She started feeling far more energetic immediately after starting her alternative approach to healing her Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, her pain also disappeared and a scan in February 2017 revealed that Tiff was in remission from her disease. Go Tiff!
You can listen to Tiffany’s informative and uplifting podcast on ‘The Backstory’ by clicking on the image in the sidebar.
What Is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) is a blood cancer which starts in the lymphatic system: the network of vessels through which lymphatic fluid drains from the tissues into the bloodstream. Lymphatic fluid is colourless and flows constantly through the lymph vessels and is filtered through the lymph nodes, thus eliminating waste products produced by cells. The fluid then drains back into the bloodstream. HL originates in the white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that help protect the body from germs and infections, but grow abnormally and spread beyond the lymphatic system. A healthy lymphatic system is crucial to the body’s wellness as it helps the immune system get rid of waste and fight infections.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
HL is represented by the violet ribbon and World Lymphoma Awareness Day is every 15th of September. You should be aware of the typical symptoms of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and, if concerned, visit your physician immediately. Don’t panic, but don’t be in denial either and make that appointment! Here are 10 of the symptoms associated with HL:
- Swollen lymph nodes. You should be particularly aware of any changes in the nodes in your neck (cervical lymph nodes), under your arm (axillary nodes) or in your groin (inguinal nodes). If you’re in touch with your body, you will feel something’s not right. If the nodes are positive for HL, they’ll likely be a bit hard and painful to the touch. In my case, the melanoma-infected axillary node under my right arm was soft instead of hard, but I knew something wasn’t right and made an appointment with a dermatologist the following week.
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss that can’t be attributed to such things as a new diet or excessive physical activity. If you lose at least 10% of your original body weight under such circumstances, this may be a symptom of HL.
- Unexplained loss of appetite which may or may not be connected to sudden weight loss. A symptom of some quite major diseases is weight loss yet people can retain a healthy appetite. Diabetes, for instance, is one such disease and when I was diagnosed with that in May 2006, I was eating like a champion … but had lost 10kg! The appetite may return in time, but if appetite loss occurs in conjunction with some of these other symptoms, it is a sensible strategy to go and see your physician.
- Night sweats to the extent that the body is almost drenched after sleep. Although these night sweats might be sporadic and vary in intensity, it is thought that such intense sweating might be caused by the immune system’s response to the progression of the disease i.e. its secretion of cytokines like interferon and interleukin, which are mobilised to fight the HL cancer cells.
- Itching of the skin, thought to be caused by the chemicals in the skin (cytokines) which irritate the nerves beneath it.
- Fever as the body’s temperature rises when certain chemicals are released into the bloodstream, causing the body to sweat, followed by chills as the body’s internal mechanism kicks into gear to then cool it down. As with the night sweats, fever and chills may come and go.
- Constant lethargy and fatigue but which has nothing to do with tiredness through lack of sleep or particularly strenuous exercise. This lethargy may come and go, but as HL advances, these bouts of fatigue last much longer.
- Sensitivity to alcohol, with pain felt in the lymph nodes themselves, particularly those in the neck. The level of discomfort varies from person to person as does the duration which might be a day or two or even up to a week.
- Nausea which is the body’s way of telling of telling us that something isn’t right for so many ailments and diseases, but with HL, the sensation of nausea can be followed by feelings of anxiety.
- Shortness of breath which is one of HL’s more serious symptoms because although it’s associated with other conditions like asthma, heart disease, obesity and many other cancers, it tends not to dissipate with HL. As shortness of breath is associated with these other conditions, it is extremely important not to overlook it, particularly when it arises along with some of these earlier symptoms.
OK. So now you should be better informed about Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the disease, its typical symptoms and, hopefully, feel inspired by yet another case of someone taking the alternative and natural road towards healing their cancer.