“It’s important not to be ashamed if you have to revisit any feelings you have about your diagnosis, you are left with a lot to process”
Megan Pigott was only twenty years old when she discovered a lump in her neck in August 2014 “At first, I wasn’t worried about it at all however at the time I was also in my second year of general nursing and working on placement. Eventually all that time spent in the hospital encouraged me to get myself checked out.”
Megan went to see her GP and was referred on for scan and a biopsy. When she came back with her dad to get her results, Megan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma “Initially they didn’t know if it had spread so I was sent in for a full PET scan. I found out it had in fact spread from my neck into my chest.
When the consultant gave me the news, I was shocked but then I just thought ‘okay, what is the next step for me?’ In many ways that was how I dealt with the diagnosis and the treatment, I just kept thinking about the next step, to keep moving forward. The reality of the experience didn’t really hit me until after the treatment finished.”
Megan had chemotherapy in Beaumont Hospital every two weeks for six months in total. When she finished her chemotherapy in February 2015 she was told her treatment would not require radiation.
The Donaghmede native received a financial grant from the Irish Cancer Society during her treatment “I was out of college and work so I really appreciated that grant because it let me maintain my independence. I was young and wouldn’t have been on a huge wage to begin with but I always appreciated the freedom it brought. I received it in late November and it meant I was able to get Christmas gifts for my family.”
“Once I was told I was in remission, I actually think that’s when I hit my lowest point. I just felt so flat. I really started struggling, it all caught up with me. I went to counselling at the hospital that really helped. I had deferred my nursing course but I ended up leaving the course, I couldn’t really face up to spending all that time in the hospital again.”
“Then in 2019 I hit another low and went back to counselling. It all stemmed back to my cancer diagnosis. I didn’t want to keep bringing it up to my family and friends so that’s why the counselling was so important. I was a bit embarrassed to say it was all upsetting me still. In many ways I wish I dealt with it more at the time it happened.” Megan says.
Once I was told I was in remission, I actually think that’s when I hit my lowest point. I just felt so flat.
Megan is doing much better now and went on to get a diploma in graphic design which she “absolutely loved”. Megan has learnt a lot from her experience “It’s important not to be ashamed if you have to revisit any feelings you have about your diagnosis, you are left with a lot to process. If you feel you still have to look after your feelings months or years down the road that is completely okay.”
Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line
If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm
For more information
1800 200 700