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Woman who had 'terrible hangovers' after just two drinks finds out she actually has cancer
Featured Image Credit: Jam Press

Woman who had 'terrible hangovers' after just two drinks finds out she actually has cancer

Poppy was just 19 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer

A 19-year-old woman who ended up vomiting and coughing after every night out was stunned when she was eventually diagnosed with cancer.

It was April 2022 when Poppy Beguely, who works as a florist and swimming instructor, first noticed that she didn't deal with drinking in the same way a lot of her friends did.

While a lot of people her age could manage quite a few drinks before things got messy, Poppy said it would take her just two drinks to 'feel a lot more drunk than most people my age and maybe three, four drinks before I would start feeling very ill'.

Poppy developed a rash on her face after drinking.
Jam Press

Things didn't get much better when she went home, as Poppy continued: “Nearly every night I would go out it would end in me vomiting the same night or the morning following."

The teen, from Auckland, New Zealand, began to notice that she would cough up blood after nights out drinking, and a rash on her face would 'flare up and get worse'.

She initially thought she was just going a bit too hard on her nights out, but she started to get more concerned when the symptoms persisted.

Between June and October 2022, Poppy was hospitalized three times. after nights out.

Doctors initially believed she may have deep vein thrombosis and responded by administering her with blood thinners, but that belief changed in December 2022 when Poppy went to hospital with a sore neck.

Poppy spent months not knowing what was wrong.
Jam Press

She underwent a biopsy of a lump on her neck and a PET scan, after which Poppy learned she had stage-three Hodgkin’s lymphoma; an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system - a network of vessels and glands spread throughout your body.

As well as the lump in her neck, Poppy also had a six-centimetre tumor in her chest.

Poppy said: “Part of me was happy that I didn’t have to worry about what exactly was wrong anymore. But then, the other part of me was obviously quite upset that I was going to have to go through chemotherapy."

Having worked as a model for a few years Poppy struggled to get her head around how her appearance would change as a result of the diagnosis, but she noted 'you win some and you lose some'.

Poppy is in remission after undergoing chemotherapy.
Jam Press

“The doctors were reassuring that it was unlikely to be fatal as long as I didn’t get any bad infections while doing chemo – they have a high remission rate for Hodgkin's lymphoma," she explained.

Poppy began four months of chemotherapy in February 2023, shortly after her 20th birthday.

The treatment lasted four months, during which Poppy stayed in hospital as she suffered a 'very severe and rare reaction to a blood transfusion'.

The reaction resulted in 'the worst pain' she's ever experienced, as Poppy added: “I was on so many painkillers that it totally screwed up my stomach and bowels and in turn my weight dropped down to 35kgs (5st 5lbs) and left me stuck on a feeding tube.

“[This was] the only time I was really scared for my life.”

Thankfully Poppy was able to get through chemotherapy, and is now in remission.

She now has a 'different outlook on life', saying: “I’m grateful that I won my life back, especially after a year of not knowing [what was wrong].”

Topics: Health, Cancer, Food and Drink, New Zealand