RECEIVING a Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis last year was a mixed experience for Larissa Losch.
The Ocean Reef resident, who had been working as a physiotherapist at Royal Perth Hospital, said being told she had cancer was scary, particularly at the age of 24.
But Ms Losch said at least she finally had an answer to a long and baffling run of illnesses which had already involved two surgeries.
Her diagnosis was followed by four months of chemotherapy and one month of radiotherapy, which ultimately proved effective, but both took their toll on her.
“I initially suffered badly from nausea and I felt quite weak during my chemo treatment – a series of bone injections I had made my bones ache,” she said.
Ms Losch said it was also difficult to cope with the side-effects of her radiotherapy treatment, which caused her skin to break down.
Soon after being told she was in remission, she enrolled in the first Cancer Council WA Life Now exercise program, run specifically for young people.
She said the 12-week program was a life-changing experience.
“I found the exercise program was not only good for my physical wellbeing, but also my emotional wellbeing,” she said.
“It was really brilliant to connect with other people who had been in a similar situation.
“We were all at a similar stage of life and participating in the program really made me feel like I wasn’t alone and we could motivate and energise each other.
“I finished the program feeling stronger and healthier and it’s also helped me regain more of my old life by giving me the strength and confidence to return to old hobbies such as rock-climbing.”
For more information, call 13 11 20 or visit www.cancer wa.asn.au.