Hi! I'm Crystal and I Had Cancer (Part 1)
I realized I had been writing for Blood-Cancer.com for a couple of months now and never properly introduced myself! Hi, I’m Crystal!
I joined the Blood-Cancer.com community about a year after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and I’d like to not only share my cancer story but also tell you all a little bit about myself.
A career in meteorology
I am a broadcast meteorologist for a news station in Norfolk, Virginia and I’ve been working in meteorology for about 8 years now. It’s a fun job, but it took a lot of work to get to where I am. My first forecasting job was with the military and I was responsible for forecasting for Air Force pilots and bases all over the world. After I separated from the military, I worked as a forecaster for a radio station, interned with a television station, and then finally got my first on-air television job with a small station in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had worked there for about a year when I received a job offer from the TV station I’m currently with. I was ecstatic to be moving closer to family on the east coast and couldn’t wait for this new opportunity.
I packed up my tiny apartment and started my cross country drive to my new home on the east coast. My 25th birthday just so happened to fall smack dab in the middle of my 3-day road trip, but I didn’t mind. Maybe my actual birthday wasn’t going to be very exciting, but this year was bound to be the best year of my life, or so I thought. This is where my cancer story begins.
Being hit with a blood cancer diagnosis at age 25
About a month after starting this new job, I found a lump above my left collarbone. My mind immediately went to cancer, but I told myself I was crazy for thinking that. I mean, I was 25 years old and have always been healthy! I ignored it and told myself it would eventually go away. A few weeks later, I noticed it was still there. I went straight to Google and looked for possible causes. What I found wasn’t reassuring at all. The internet told me I had cancer. I cried, then I brought myself to my senses and realized I was silly for actually believing what the internet says. There’s no way it could be cancer. Even a headache could turn into a cancer diagnosis on the internet, right? I couldn’t completely ignore the lump this time though, so I made an appointment with a doctor for just 2 days later.
Do I believe Google or my doctor?
I told the doctor what I had found with my online “research” and that I was a little worried it might be cancer. From that moment forward, I could tell he wasn’t taking me seriously and he was sure I didn’t have cancer. I didn’t fit the demographic for a cancer diagnosis, whatever that is. I was relieved and didn’t question his opinion too much. Thinking back to this day, I think the doctor was just insulted that I had googled my symptoms and his ego got in the way of giving me an unbiased opinion. Despite his confidence that I didn’t have cancer, he did an ultrasound of my lump. He told me it couldn’t be cancer because my lymph node was symmetrical and according to him, that isn’t a characteristic of cancer. He said it was just an enlarged lymph node and said that this happens all the time. I walked out of his office with a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Spoiler alert: Turns out, I should've listened to Google after all.Check back to read more about Crystal's cancer journey!
What type of blood cancer are you or your loved one diagnosed with?