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Patient story - Melani

As humans, we have the tendency to believe that serious and unpleasant circumstances will never befall us, only others. That’s what I believed too, until I got my diagnosis. Unfortunately, no one will ever be ready to hear such painful and frightening news.

My story started a few years ago, when a chronic cough had gotten the better of me. I never imagined that behind such a simple cough would be such a serious diagnosis; stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My name is Melanie and as I write this, it is two years after my final round of chemotherapy, and I am healthier than ever. 

At the age of eighteen, I was faced with cancer. At such a critical age, where I was ready to take the first steps of my adult life, this unexpected diagnosis came along and changed everything. The road to recovery was quite difficult and the chemotherapy treatments I received were physically and mentally exhausting. My new life revolved around countless hours of chemotherapy, weekly tests, injections, and interactions with other cancer patients. Fear dominated my emotions, but I am so lucky to have had the whole German Oncology Center team by my side. The love and support I received from all the nurses during the treatments and, of course, the care I received from my lovely doctor Dr. Annette Nikolaou, who saved my life, was so deep and genuine, and immeasurably valuable during that very difficult time in my life. I am and will be forever grateful for each and every one of these individuals.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that all this happened to me during the outbreak of a global pandemic, which made the whole process even more challenging and lonely, since I couldn’t even have anyone close to me by my side.

However, I managed to get through it. After some time, the day I was waiting for finally arrived, the end of my chemotherapy. I thought that this day would end all my fears, and that my old life would magically return. Unfortunately, though, I was wrong, and an equally hard struggle was about to begin. Life as a cancer survivor is particularly complicated as the mental wounds left by the disease do not heal but deepen. The thought of a possible recurrence destroys you every single time you go in for a checkup, and the idea of how your life will continue if your cancer has returned fills you with anxiety. But finally, you realize that the only solution is time, which heals everything. 

As I near the two-year mark from the end of my chemo, I can confidently say that all these thoughts slowly fade away, and life has finally returned to its natural rhythms. Of course, the fear caused by my experience will always be part of me, as will worries about the future, but I know that these can no longer define my life. The only thing left from my cancer are the lessons that helped shape who I am today. I know now that nothing is a given in this life, and so for me, health is paramount. I know that the word ‘cancer’ is very scary, and many times can mean the end of someone’s life, but in my case, it was the beginning – the beginning of a more meaningful life. I am grateful for all that I have lived through and proud of the person I have become today, and I owe it to an unexpected encounter I had with cancer.

If you would like to share your experience we are happy to receive your email [email protected]

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(+357) 25 208 000

Emergencies are not yet accredited of the General Health Care System.


Dr. Aris Angouridis

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