When Rhiannon Douglas woke up to find her legs suddenly covered in dots, which ran up and down both limbs, she initially dismissed it as a rash caused by shaving and ignored the symptom. However, when it persisted and began to get worse, she finally sought medical attention, which left her horrified as doctors told her what it really was that caused the unsightly blemishes on her body.
Thinking the rash was caused by shaving seemed like a logical answer at the time for the young woman from England since she had shaved her legs for her cousin’s wedding a few days before. However, she realized it was serious the moment the patches began to spread and her legs were left burning and swollen. After seeing many doctors and getting several different misdiagnoses, one doctor finally diagnosed her with nodular sclerosis lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.
“When I was told I had cancer, I felt numb and never thought I would hear those words at just 20 years old,” Douglas said, according to Inside Edition. The doctors explained that the rash was an uncommon symptom of the mass growing inside her chest and, had she not noticed it, it may have been too late for treatment.
Since her diagnosis in November 2016, Douglas’ tumor has begun to shrink after she tried all sorts of natural treatments. She’s praying that she’s in remission by summer and hopes that by sharing her story, she can raise awareness for the bizarre symptoms cancer can sometimes cause on the human body.
“I now want to urge others to always get a second opinion, it’s really important to be aware of the rare signs of cancer, luckily mine was caught in time but unfortunately this may not be the case for everyone,” she said, according to Mirror. “But I also think it’s also really important not to put a death sentence on the word cancer, I have a really positive outlook and I’m hoping to be in remission by the summer.”
Although it can be difficult and even frightening to go to the doctor and get tested, early diagnosis of cancer is the most effective way to overcome the disease. Obviously, not everyone is as lucky as Douglas, but it’s better to have gotten it checked out than to ignore something serious. We only get one life, and to ensure we live as long as we can, it’s best to get checkups and to question anything unusual. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.