Alan Gorman, 29, Dublin

Hearing the words ‘You have cancer’ at the age of 17 is utterly surreal. I had just started my first semester in college. I was putting down the vague symptoms I was experiencing, such as having very little appetite, to adapting  to student life.

I started to develop pains in my feet and it felt like I was walking across a stony beach.

After a visit the Vhi SwiftCare clinic I was referred immediately to Beaumont Hospital. It was there I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. 

Over the course of 5 years I had many types of cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a stem cell transplant and, after I relapsed, chemo again. Thankfully, I’m 8 years cancer free now.

I had great family support while I was going through my cancer. My parents and brother were always there for me. It was very difficult though, especially at such a crucial stage in life when you are branching out on your own for the first time. It was hard on friendships too. People didn’t know what to say to me or how to act, so they just avoided me. But others really showed their true colours and were there for me.
 

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

Our Support Line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm offering support and advice
for anyone affected by cancer on Freephone 1800 200 700.

Roz, a cancer nurse