Beth Clyde, 21, was diagnosed with Hogkin’s Lymphoma just before the first lockdown, and was not able to see any family or friends due to Covid restrictions
Image: Glasgow Live WS)
A cancer survivor who initially thought she had a bad cough was diagnosed with a lung tumour.
Beth Clyde, 21 was diagnosed with Hogkin’s Lymphoma just days before the first lockdown in March 2021, Glasgow Live reports.
Leading up to her life-changing diagnosis, Beth had a bad cough, sore throat and was struggling with extreme fatigue.
Following a trip to the doctors for an X-ray on her lung and a biopsy, it was discovered she had tumours.
Beth said: “I remember being confused, and initially I was overwhelmed and upset, but then after I had time to digest it I was relieved to have an answer. I’d felt so bad for so long and I was worried I was going crazy.
Glasgow Live WS)
“My friends and family were devastated, but were trying to be a strong support network for me.
“I told my mum to tell me if she was upset or worried and she said no, but I think she was hiding how she felt because she wanted to protect me.”
Beth from Glasgow was required to undergo 12 rounds of gruelling chemotherapy beginning in April last year, but due to the coronavirus restrictions at that time, she could not have any family or friends visiting her.
However, her friends came to see her at her window and dropped off small gifts at her door to lift her spirits.
The chemotherapy also had a number of side-effects that were difficult to endure, such as severe fatigue, hair loss and neuropathy.
She also suffered with a horrifying ten-day battle with life-threatening sepsis after a bacterial infection seven months in, which saw her body temperature rise to a concerning 42C.
“It was the worst experience I’ve ever had,” she said.
“I was so sick because my immune system was so low. I was hallucinating due to my brain heating up.
“I even saw Death in the corner of the room. It was was brutal. I had to wait to get better before I started chemo again.”
Beth said that the moments she remembered the most however was the kindness and chit chat she received from staff and volunteers.
She fondly recalls how members of hospital staff, from medics to the porters, would visit her bedside and talk to her.
“Someone always sat and made sure I was okay. Not having my friends and family around shone a light on how amazing the NHS are,” she said.
“Everyone just chats away to you and keeps you occupied. That got me through when I was feeling lonely.”
When she wasn’t in hospital, Beth spent lockdown at home shielding with her mum, who had taken time off from her job as a social worker.
Beth added: “I spent a lot of time during lockdown cleaning my room and drawers! But there were days I was too tired and I’d stay in bed or lie on the couch.
“We sat in the garden a lot during the summer. I’m so glad I had somewhere to go other than the house. It helped it go much quicker.
My mental health was okay – I knew I had a goal to get to with my health. so I was concentrating on that.”
Glasgow Live WS)
On October 23, 2020, Beth and her mum were brought in and told by the doctor that she was in full remission.
“It’s wild the relief I felt – I was so happy and couldn’t stop smiling. My mum was so emotional too. It was the best day ever. It made me realise how much I have overcome.
“We couldn’t do much to celebrate due to lockdown, so we got a Chinese takeaway afterwards.”
In the year since, Beth has been living her life to the full. She donned her graduation robes for photos at her university after the ceremony last year was cancelled due to covid. She has returned to her part-time job, is back training in the gym and heads up town for nights out with her pals at the weekend.
She even threw a party with 50 friends and family at pub The Locale at Charing Cross to mark a year in remission last month.
“It has been so emotional being back with everyone again. It’s so nice to have a bit of normality – it’s crazy how much you want it when you don’t have it for a year. I’m really lucky.
“Ive got four years to go before I’m officially cancer-free, but I’m doing well and not on any medication.”
The 23-year-old has urged Glaswegians to back the Beatson Cancer Charity this Christmas – as “you’ll never know when you or a loved one will need it.”
“It’s the best wee centre in the world and it was my second home in 2020 – for people from all over Scotland. It doesn’t matter how young or healthy you are, you don’t know if you will need to use that facility one day.
“They do amazing work and the people there are so lovely. I am so grateful for them and I will continue to support them for years to come.”
You can join in supporting Beatson Cancer Charity’s Bauble Appeal and hang a Beatson Bauble, available here.
You can also donate by texting word BEATSON to 70560 to donate £10 or you can call 0141 212 0505.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.