When Kirsty Axworthy started experiencing migraines and exhaustion at 12 weeks into her pregnancy, she passed them off as regular symptoms.
The "fit and healthy" 26-year-old continued to experience worrying health warnings — including high blood pressure and night sweats — which her doctor put down to pre-eclampsia.
However, after her baby girl Elle was born in May, the symptoms persisted and a trip to the doctor confirmed the worst — she had a 13cm tumour in her chest.
"I’d noticed walking up the stairs for example made me very breathless," Ms Axworthy wrote in a Facebook post in July 2021, after her diagnosis.
"I was sweating excessively at night to the point where I had to change my clothes during the night, again this is a postpartum symptom so never thought anymore of it."
'Fit and healthy' mum diagnosed with rare cancer
The new mum was diagnosed with a rare type of High-Grade Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma blood cancer, found from a large cancerous tumour in her chest cavity.
"The first couple of days [after the diagnosis] I was just in complete shock," Ms Axworthy told The Sun.
"[I] didn't really cry or anything and then the week after that it sort of hit me when I came home and started chemotherapy."
Ms Axworthy underwent six months of chemotherapy following her diagnosis and was hospitalised for pneumonia during her treatment.
The 26-year-old documented her brutal treatment on Instagram, announcing the good news in January 2022 that she was in remission.
"Never did I ever think I could go through what I have been [through]," she wrote on Instagram.
"From my fear of cannulas to losing my hair and dealing with six rounds of chemotherapy and all the side effects that come with it."
She credits her husband Gary, family and friends and her baby for getting her through the difficult months of treatment.
"Elle, thank you for pulling me through the darkest six months of my life," the dedicated mum wrote on Facebook.
"You are a living angel. The reason to get up in the mornings."
She also urged anyone concerned about their health to trust their instincts.
"If you think there’s something not right, doctors can put a lot of things down to anxiety and just give you tablets to mask things, but you really have to get to the root of the problem, that’s key," she told The Sun.
"Just press on GPs for answers, 100 per cent."
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