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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Woman who thought she was pregnant finds out she has two types of cancer

pregnant woman
Pregnant woman

A woman, who thought she was pregnant, found out she actually had two types of cancer at the same time.

Mia Mackin, 23, signed up for a health check carried out by a company she worked for in October 2019.

She noticed her heart was beating at a faster rate than usual and was confused by what it could be as she has always led a healthy life, without smoking and rarely drinking alcohol.

The woman, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, initially thought she might have been pregnant, so she checked into A&E to find out what was wrong.

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After 12 hours of negotiating with doctors, they sent her for a chest x-ray and the results showed a large shadow around her heart.

Mia pictured during her CT scan
Mia Mackin

The doctor told Mia it could be an infection, but to be sure they did a scan in the morning and told her to go home and rest.

Meanwhile, they did two biopsies to find out what was going on.

The next morning, Mia had a CT scan and after a few hours, one of the doctors delivered the devastating news that she had a large mass between her heart and lungs.

The following day, a doctor told the woman she had Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma and Stage 2 Thyroid cancer.

In November 2019, she underwent four rounds and eight treatments of chemotherapy that lasted for two months.

Doctors were stunned to find that during the treatment she did not lose her hair.

In January 2020, Mia had a PET scan which revealed that she is cancer-free.

Throughout her journey, she has been sharing every moment with her 10,000 followers on Instagram and feels that their support has kept her going.

She said: “In October I went to the hospital on a whim after a work health check showed my resting heart rate was a lot higher than normal.

“If I’m being honest about the situation, I was ninety-five per cent sure I was pregnant. The health check at work was the last straw.

“I left work and went straight to the hospital hoping they would just give me a blood test and put my mind at ease.

“After twelve hours in A&E, baffled doctors, and a lot of tears later they agreed to send me for a chest x-ray and within twenty minutes, my results were back.

“It showed a large shadow around my heart. The doctor said it could merely be an infection but just to be sure, they would do a scan in the morning. He told me to go home and get some rest.”

She added: “The next morning, I set off back to the hospital where I had my CT scan; I remember vivily sitting in the waiting room, reading a book.

“I noticed a young doctor poke his head around the corner, he looked at me, then spoke to his nurses.

“They called my name and as I walked into the room, the doctor sat in front of me and the nurse pulled her chair beside me as if she was going to hold my hand.

“‘It’s not good news, Mia,’ he uttered to me. ‘You have a large mass between your heart and lungs’. I remember staring at his name tag in a daze.

“They bounced around the cancer word. When the doctor left the room, I begged the nurse to be honest with me, ‘do they think I have cancer?’

“I was in work the day they called to tell me I had cancer. I remained calm. I said my goodbyes to my co-workers and left to start making a plan.

“After they confirmed it was cancer via a biopsy, they sent me for a PET scan, a thirty-minute scan where they scan your whole body looking for disease.

“Two weeks later I was diagnosed with two different cancers thyroid cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma. It was at that point I knew death was something I needed to come to terms with.

“In fact, if I hadn’t gone to the hospital that day, as the cancer closed in on my heart and lungs, I likely would have died from a heart attack.”

Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Around 2,100 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year, Macmillan explains.

It is one of the most common cancers to affect people in their teens and early 20s.

Thyroid cancer is a less common type of cancer and is mainly seen in women.

Mia said: “I’ve only ever cried twice through it all; I cried when I got told I had cancer for a few minutes (purely out of shock) and I cried when they told me I was cancer-free.

“The moment was something I really can’t put into words. I was so incredibly proud of myself. Grateful for life, happy and ecstatic. “I spent the day alone; I wanted to take it all in. Straight after the phone call, I filmed an Instagram story, crying my eyes out to my followers. They had been so supportive and still are. I wanted to tell them first.

“Being open and honest about my cancer journey on Instagram has given me purpose this past year. I love helping people. “I love sharing positivity and showing people that no matter what life throws your way whether that’s cancer, the loss of a parent, weight gain, hair loss, divorce, you can get through it.

“We are strong enough to deal with anything. It’s all about your mindset. I soon realised that sharing my journey and helping others made it all worth it. Showing other young women that they are not alone in their battles. That was my goal.”

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