Woman who thought bouts of dizziness at the gym finds out it was symptom of stage four lymphoma

A ‘super fit’ woman who attributed bouts of vertigo to not trying hard enough in the gym has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.

Taylor Davis, now 26, of San Diego, California, attributed the spinning sensation to not lifting weights heavy enough when it came on last September.

But over the next three months, she developed a persistent wet cough, facial swelling, unexplained weight loss, and minor bruising on her arms and knees — prompting her to get checked out by doctors.

At that time, she was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma and a tumor in her lungs.

Doctors immediately gave her chemotherapy and the cancer is now in remission, but she has to go for monthly checkups in case it comes back.

Taylor Davis, now 26 and from San Diego, California, (pictured above before diagnosis) was told she had a blood cancer after seeking help for a persistent cough

She is pictured above during chemotherapy, which caused her hair to fall out.  The cancer is now in remission, but she needs to go for monthly checkups in case it comes back

She is pictured above during chemotherapy, which caused her hair to fall out. The cancer is now in remission, but she needs to go for monthly checkups in case it comes back

In the United States, approximately 80,500 people are diagnosed with lymphoma each year, the most common cancer in teens and young adults.

It occurs when white blood cells in the lymphatic system divide uncontrollably, causing symptoms and, in later stages, causing organs to shut down.

The cancer can grow rapidly and, combined with the age of the patients, is often not diagnosed until later stages, when it is more difficult to treat.

It’s unclear why the cancer is more common in young people, but scientists say it may be related to viral or bacterial infections that cause harmful cell mutations.

Davis said the December diagnosis came as a “huge shock.”

“First, because I’m 26 years old and didn’t even think that would happen to me now,” she said.

‘Only two, because I’m very healthy: I eat organic, I exercise five days a week, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink much.’

The restaurant manager initially tried to shake off the dizziness that came when she exercised or bent over.

But in just a few weeks, she struggled with lifting boxes and trays at work and waking up to sweaty sheets.

In December, she developed a persistent cough that would not go away, and when she woke up, she found her face swollen and light bruising on her chest and arms.

She went to doctors believing they would diagnose her with pneumonia, but after an X-ray and MRI, they diagnosed the cancer.

“I felt like my life was coming to an end, and in a way it was,” she said.

Everything I thought I knew about my body and all my plans for life were taken away at that moment. Being told I had cancer at 26 after doing everything I was taught to prevent cancer was traumatic.”

Davis said the diagnosis came as a

She had always been healthy, ate organic and avoided smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol

Davis said the diagnosis came as a “huge shock.” She had always been healthy, ate organic and avoided smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol

She added: “I was told in one night [my diagnosis] and that I had to start chemotherapy right away or I would die.’

Doctors performed a biopsy the next day to confirm the diagnosis, but by that point Davis’s cough had gotten so bad she “couldn’t breathe.”

“I was told I had pneumonia and superior vena cava syndrome, an obstruction to blood flow, due to cancer, which did not reach my brain and can be fatal.

“I had seen the effects of cancer and chemotherapy in movies and the thought of going through things like losing my hair terrified me.

“This all happened so fast – one day I knew nothing and suddenly my life was in danger.”

Davis didn’t reveal whether she had Hodgkin lymphoma — where cancer cells appear in the lymph nodes — or the more common non-Hodgkin lymphoma — which can develop in many places in the body, including the spleen and bone marrow.

In the early stages, the disease can cause painless swelling in the neck, armpits, or groin area. Sometimes it can also cause dizziness, which can be caused by less oxygen reaching the brain due to anemia or a reduction in red blood cells.

In the intermediate stage, warning signs develop into unintentional weight loss, persistent fatigue, night sweats and increased susceptibility to infections.

In Davis’s case, she also developed a cough, which the doctors said was due to the tumor in her lungs obstructing blood flow and building up pressure — which caused the cough.

After the diagnosis, Davis — who would normally avoid even painkillers — was signed up for five-day chemotherapy infusions every two and a half weeks for six rounds.

She is currently recovering from chemotherapy and the cancer is in remission.

But doctors have told her to come in for monthly checkups to make sure the disease doesn’t resurface.

She has also started using cool capping and wearing ice packs on her head to help combat hair loss due to the chemotherapy.

She said: ‘It has taken its toll. One of the worst things was losing my hair because it was so important to me and a big part of how I presented myself to the world.

“But I am determined to stay positive and grateful throughout this journey.

“I use it as a learning experience and to teach myself how to live a life that is aware of what I put in and on my body.

“My experience of being so scared and not knowing what to expect led me to share my journey online.

“I wanted to give other people with similar diagnoses a positive medium.”