Getting cancer is a scary prospect, knowing your body is in a way betraying itself. Huge relief, then, for one young Australian woman who discovered she was riddled with cancer – and lived to tell the tale.
Early in 2017, nursing student Georgia McClennan, from Broadbeach, Gold Coast started suffering from stabbing chest pains which turned into continuous aches.
Despite starting to visit her GP several times a week, docs couldn’t figure out what exactly was wrong with the 24-year-old.
“I was in that much pain I was going once or twice a week to the doctor… It was at this point he asked if perhaps it was all in my head,” Georgia told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Although Georgia looked totally fine on the outside, doctors eventually figured out she had tumours on her spleen and liver – although the sheer extent of her problem was revealed after she had a PET scan.
Radiologists were horrified to find that Georgia’s body was absolutely riddled with cancer, which had made its way into every organ in her abdomen.
“I was just in shock – very shocking. I couldn’t believe it could happen to me,” she said.
Georgia was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma – a highly aggressive form of cancer that grows rapidly and often spreads quickly through people’s central nervous systems.
“All these radiologists came into the room to look at me… They couldn’t believe how healthy I looked given what they found inside me,” Georgia told the Bulletin. “When I saw the scan, I realised this is very bad.
“I found out later they thought I was going to die that weekend… I didn’t even have my mum there because I hadn’t really worried it was cancer.”
Thankfully, Georgia’s cancer is now in remission and she hopes to one day become an oncology nurse.
“I guess I just felt really lucky that I was having the treatment and that I have access to treatment,” she said.
“I feel like I can be there for people, I can understand what they’re going through.”