Wednesday 25th April 2018
Imogen was 17 years old when she first noticed a lump near her breast. Doctors at the breast clinic initially told her it was harmless and that the lump was just an enlarged lymph gland. However, Imogen soon discovered another lump on her neck and realised that she was tired all the time and had been losing a lot of weight.
Imogen's doctor sent her for X-rays the day after her appointment as he suspected she could have Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"I remember not knowing what that was and going home to Google it, and was so shocked with what I read," says Imogen. "I didn't know about cancer in young people and I couldn't believe that I could get it. I was incredibly scared and anxious about the long, uncertain journey ahead."
One month after her X-rays, Imogen was officially diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma. She was told that the lump she had found near her breast may have been an early sign of the cancer.
I didn't react much to the news because I had spent the past month waiting for the results and accepting that it could be cancer.
"I was certain that I wanted to be treated on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit, rather than at my local hospital in Kent, and was happy to endure the long drives for my treatment. I was admitted to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at The Royal Marsden Hospital Surrey to have six months of chemotherapy. I'm so glad I chose to be treated on the unit. The environment was so much better than normal hospitals, and it didn't even feel like I was in one. There were places to hang out, big TVs and other young people in the same situation. The staff were also amazing and couldn't do enough for me."
Imogen's treatment was tough but the Teenage Cancer Trust nurses supported her throughout it all, providing her with advice, boosting her morale, and being friendly faces around the unit.
I know that Teenage Cancer Trust makes a direct impact on young people's lives and every young person who I have spoken to on the unit would say how much it has helped them.
Now 20 years old, Imogen has decided to take part in Tough Mudder and raise funds so that more young people with cancer can benefit from Teenage Cancer Trust's support.
"It's a ten-mile course with over 20 obstacles, loads of mud, ice and fire. I do some running already but the obstacles will be the biggest challenge for me. As well as upping my running, I've done some work at the gym to build my upper body strength. I'm excited to be doing it with the rest of the Teenage Cancer Trust team and I know that we will work together and have fun while doing it."
I would encourage anyone who is thinking about doing a challenge to take on Tough Mudder for Teenage Cancer Trust, as I have experienced first hand what a difference they make to young people with cancer.