Lately, the first thing that enters a person’s mind if they encounter an unusual pain is that they may have cancer. Yet that was the last thing Georgina Masson, an administration worker from Horsham, West Sussex, thought of when symptoms of her tonsillitis returned. Especially since Georgina was only 24 years old and had tonsillitis several times in the past.
According to a recent article in Newsweek, in July of 2021, Georgina’s doctor prescribed the same antibiotic that had always cured her sore throat. This time, however, after she had completed the prescribed dose, the infection became much more severe. She also lost a significant amount of weight, about 42 pounds, for no apparent reason.
There were other symptoms that she was unable to explain, such as nose bleeds, bleeding gums, and bruising easily. The appearance of a rash all over her body at first seemed to be an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. However, doctors became suspicious and admitted her to a hospital in East Surrey for tests. After one week of tests including a bone marrow biopsy, the diagnosis was acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Her doctors said that she could go home and start chemotherapy in a week. Then she received a call from the hospital as she and her mother were driving home. The doctors said that upon further investigation, she had a rare form of AML, and she had better return to the hospital and start chemotherapy that night. Treatment began in August 2021.
Georgina’s father was only 54 when he died of cancer. She said that her diagnosis terrified her especially since she had lost her father to cancer when she was fifteen years old. She was shocked to think that cancer would attack her in her early twenties, but she is grateful that they found it early. Georgina has almost completed her eight rounds of chemotherapy and appears to be doing well.
Georgina was too numb to grasp the enormity of the diagnosis, but her 62-year-old mother was very emotional. Georgina said it just did not sink in.
The chemotherapy caused severe headaches and she could only be comfortable in a dark room with eye shades. However, this discomfort was eased by the fact that Georgina had been told that she is almost completely in remission. She recalls that it was only a short while ago she felt as if she were going to die.