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“I decided to work hard and control the things I could”: Matthew's story

Thursday 15 October 2020 in Patient stories

My name is Matthew and I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when I was 17 years old. This was quite a shock, considering I was feeling well and had no obvious symptoms. Within a week of being diagnosed, my days consisted of meetings, scans and tests that were necessary before starting chemotherapy, all of which were very overwhelming for me. The chemo rounds were tough, but I was determined to get through them, and I’m looking forward to the last round being over soon.

While I was required to take time off school to go to the hospital for chemotherapy, I was determined to keep going to school when I was able to as I was halfway through Year 12.

By working with the Back on Track team, I was able to organise with my school everything that was required, for both my HSC Trials and the HSC exams.

Getting back to school with my friends was great for me because aside from the days I was required to be in hospital, it gave me some sense of normality. I also decided to exercise every day to help my mental focus and believe this reduced some of the side effects of the treatment.

I decided to work hard and control the things I could, being my attitude and my study. I did not want this disease to determine my future and worked as hard as I could to achieve my goals.

While this has been a tough journey at times, I believe my determination and attitude to succeed, and maintain as much of a normal life as possible, has helped me deal with the chemotherapy treatment. I have gained early entry into University next year, am excited to continue my learning journey, and want to encourage everyone that you can still have goals and dreams even though you have or had cancer.

Want to know more about services that can help you stay on track? Ask our staff for help or find out more at:

Back on Track

Social Work


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