We help inspirational cancer victim share her story with the Sunday Mirror about how she self-diagnosed her illness after GPs told her she was suffering from anxiety.
When dancer Jaclyn Lauder, 27, got in touch with us we couldn’t believe her story. She visited her GP in September 2012 complaining of itchy skin and excessive sweating, she was diagnosed with anxiety and sent away. Over the course of a year her symptoms worsened and when her itching got so bad she didn’t sleep for days on end, she begged her GP for help.
After being prescribed anti-depressants in June 2013, brave Jaclyn vowed to get to the bottom of her mystery illness. While Googling her symptoms she came across Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, and instantly diagnosed herself with the devastating disease.
By the time she underwent an X-ray in November, Jaclyn was heart-broken to discover she had a 13cm long mass in her chest – and would need immediate chemotherapy to save her life.
Amazingly, the seven months of treatment was successful and Jaclyn, from Wimbledon, South London, was given the all-clear last month. Disturbed by the way she was dealt with by the NHS, Jaclyn says she feels ‘let down by the system’ who failed to catch her cancer in its early stages. For seven months she underwent treatment, had to leave her job and London flat to move back home with her mum in Edinburgh, Scotland – and even lost all of her long, beautiful hair.
Incredibly, she finished the treatment seven weeks ago and was given the all clear two weeks later. Over the moon that she is in remission, Jaclyn says she feels completely let down by the NHS and says she has lost faith in the whole system.
She said: “I can’t believe I’ve made it through this, there were times when I wasn’t sure if I would. The most frustrating thing is knowing it could have been caught sooner, if only I’d been taken seriously.
“On the outside I may look like a young, healthy woman but the NHS need to educate people, because young people are dying because of this awful disease too.
“I’ve now gone back to work and moved back in with my partner James, who has been amazing, but I know I’ll never get back to dancing. The disease has ruined my body and bones and I’ll never set foot on a stage again.
“Luckily, I did it all while I had the chance. Now I’m going to focus on raising awareness for other young people.”
Jaclyn has made a written complaint to her local GP and is in the process of taking her grievances further. In the seven weeks since the good news, fighter Jaclyn has gone back to work in the health and beauty industry but says she will never dance again because of the disease. Living with her partner James, 30, an account manager, the relieved couple can’t wait to start their new lives together.
Feature writer Paisley placed Jaclyn’s story with The Sunday Mirror and she’s since placed it with Love It magazine. Paisley said: ‘I felt very compelled to tell Jaclyn’s inspirational story and am so pleased she’s happy with the media coverage I secured for her. We’ll continue to work together in the future as she keeps me up to date with her progress.’
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