A young woman riddled with cancer has described the three months of torture she was forced to endure before doctors finally came to the right diagnosis. Georgia McLennan, from Queensland’s Gold Coast, was in such severe pain she found herself at the doctors multiple times a week.
The 24-year-old was misdiagnosed with stomach ulcers by one doctor and was even told by another that it was ‘all in her head’ – but the harrowing truth was Georgia had tumours covering her lungs, on her liver and on her spleen.
‘They [doctors] couldn’t believe how healthy I looked given what they found inside me,’ she told the Gold Coast Bulletin. ‘I found out later they thought I was going to die that weekend.’
Doctors were fooled by Georgia’s happy and vibrant exterior and misdiagnosed her several times before finally discovering the truth, one giving her stomach ulcer medication which failed to work. Georgia was eventually diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, and it came after three months of pain, doubt, and one doctor’s suggestion ‘it was all in her head’.
‘When I saw the scan I realised this is very bad,’ Georgia said.
At the worst point her stomach had become so swollen she said she looked six months pregnant and finally a PET scan revealed just how much the cancer had spread. An aggressive course of chemotherapy followed along with spinal injections every week. So far the treatments have been successful with Georgia’s cancer currently in remission.
Georgia’s PET scan revealed her diagnosis was much worse than originally thought
The 24-year-old Gold Coast local said doctors were shocked at her diagnosis saying: ‘they couldn’t believe how healthy I looked given what they found inside me’
On the Instagram account where she documents much of her life and journey, Georgia continually showcases how her positive attitude has helped her throughout the diagnosis.
‘I had the best day even though it was a little bit scary. I’m so grateful to have such amazing friends and family and feel so lucky to receive my treatment,’ she said in one post in response to starting a new treatment.
Another reads: ‘Feeling so so good after 5 blood transfusions, grateful for people who donate blood.’
The brave woman has snapped glowing selfies wearing a jet-black wig as she patiently waits for her naturally blonde locks to grow back following treatment. In light of the huge odds she has overcome, Georgia is using her journey as a platform for the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation Care for Cancer lunch.
The lunch raises money for the patient transport service and chemotherapy chairs at the hospital where she received treatment and Georgia knows first hand the impact the little things can have on patients, saying:
‘You don’t realise how much you appreciate a comfortable chair until you are forced to spend some of your most difficult hours in them.’