‘Some issues are extra necessary than soccer’: Soccer Fern Rebekah Stott on her most cancers journey | Soccer

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It began, because it virtually at all times does, with a lump. In June 2020, Soccer Fern Rebekah Stott seen a bulge within the area simply above her proper collarbone. She thought she had been coaching too onerous within the lead-up to her first Girls’s Tremendous League season: an infected muscle from too many push-ups, maybe.

She had some assessments, however the outcomes have been inconclusive. Regulate it, the physician advised her. So off she flew to England. By the top of August, the lump had grown. It was massive sufficient that she might really feel it when she moved. A number of weeks of paperwork and digital consultations glided by – well being system delays led to by the pandemic – earlier than she was lastly admitted to a brand new clinic. They carried out one other biopsy. That’s when she heard the phrase for the primary time: lymphoma.

“Once I heard that, I really had somewhat cry to myself,” Stott advised Guardian Australia. “That was the primary level the place I used to be really like, ‘this could possibly be critical.’

“As a 27-year outdated, you don’t actually count on to have most cancers. I really didn’t know what lymphoma was, so I went on Google and searched it. And I used to be like, ‘holy crap, might I’ve most cancers?’ I used to be scared. However then I stated, ‘you already know what? No matter it’s, I’m going to struggle this and I’m going to be wonderful.’”

Two days later, Stott was on a flight residence to Melbourne. Two of her finest associates, Matildas Steph Catley and Lydia Williams, travelled down from London to assist pack up her house. Stott obtained the affirmation e-mail whereas she was nonetheless in resort quarantine: she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

It was a reduction. Hodgkin’s is, in her phrases, the “good sort” of most cancers: treatable in a brief area of time. “I believe I used to be very fortunate to have had that [one],” Stott stated. “I look again on the final eight months and suppose what I’ve gone via… it’s loopy however in comparison with different those who have worse cancers and sicknesses, I believe I’m very fortunate.”

Stott determined to begin writing about her experiences in a weblog, beat it. by Stotty, which follows her journey from the start. In it, she shares the on a regular basis realities of somebody going via ferocious chemotherapy – the bodily side-effects like nausea, mouth ulcers, scorching flushes, muscle loss, in addition to the psychological and emotional challenges – within the hopes that she might help others in search of solutions to the identical questions she had.

“As a result of I used to be researching loads once I discovered, making an attempt to only work out what it was and what I used to be about to undergo, there wasn’t numerous stuff on the market,” Stott stated. “So I assumed it’d be a very good concept to get my story on the market and likewise assist increase consciousness and assist different people who find themselves questioning what the lump on their physique is; try to encourage individuals to go and get it checked as quickly as potential.

“From my childhood, it’s at all times been instilled in me to search for all of the positives in no matter scenario you undergo. I believe that actually helped me within the early days, particularly, to be like, ‘sure, I’m going via this, however what can I discover that’s good out of it?’ and I believe the weblog is one instance of that.”

The weblog acted as a sort of remedy for Stott. Soccer – which her life had revolved round for nearly twenty years – had been ripped away from her. Naturally, she started asking questions on her identification and her future, utilizing the weblog to share these anxieties and fears.

“In the beginning, I used to be wonderful. It was like, ‘okay, don’t should go to coaching, little bit of a vacation.’ However because it went on, I discovered myself a bit misplaced. Like, what am I doing? I really feel like I must be doing one thing however I’m not doing something,” she stated. “I believe it was a great realisation that I must have one thing after soccer is completed; to have one thing to go to outdoors of soccer whereas I’m nonetheless enjoying, too, so it makes the transition a bit simpler as soon as I’m retired.

“It was a pleasant reduction for me to have the ability to share what I used to be going via. You don’t precisely simply inform your loved ones or associates all these deep issues generally, however to essentially get it on the market fairly uncooked… it’s necessary to point out that: sure, it’s a onerous time, however you will be weak and share what you’re going via.”

Exterior of soccer, Stott started engaged on her enterprise, which is known as after her weblog. In collaboration with CanTeen Australia and Neighborhood Co., she developed a most cancers bag that features a beanie, snacks, skincare merchandise, and different objects which might be distributed at no cost to newly-diagnosed most cancers sufferers. She additionally used the weblog to lift funds for the World’s Biggest Shave, organising a “wig occasion” with family and friends in Melbourne. It was, partly, an try to wrench again some management over an uncontrollable scenario. She raised just below $40,000.

Whereas the weblog traces a few of Stott’s darkest moments, together with a breakdown in direction of the top of her restoration course of the place she began to query why this was taking place to her – she says probably the most tough half has been after the remedy was completed.

“You suppose, ‘oh, you’re in remission, how good that you just’ve overwhelmed it, let’s get again with life.’ And that’s [pressure] you placed on your self as effectively, however it’s not like that,” she stated. “You continue to take care of the bodily sides: my physique has to construct up from actually no muscle, which is painful. I’m nonetheless having scorching flushes due to the [fertility] injections that additionally have an effect on me mentally.

“So these forms of issues that you just don’t take into consideration earlier than you undergo remedy, or whilst you’re going via remedy if you’re like, ‘I simply can’t wait to be completed.’ However then it’s like, ‘effectively, really, it’s not completed. Not likely.’ You’re nonetheless gonna take care of issues that you just’ve gone via and issues which have occurred to you. It’s a protracted course of.”

Having signed with Melbourne Metropolis for the upcoming W-League season, Stott is now constructing again her health and placing time into her enterprise. She can even proceed to put in writing about her experiences on her weblog. True to character, she is making an attempt to take as many positives from it as she will be able to.

“I believe I’ll get pleasure from issues extra and actually profit from the small issues,” she stated. “Easy issues like going out for a dinner when my mouth wasn’t terribly sore. [My business] has been actually good for me mentally, to have one thing else away from remedy, away from soccer.

“With the ability to take the positives from any scenario you’re given, whether or not it’s horrible or it’s good, is the important thing for me; to only be glad about what I’ve and search for the positives. I’ll undoubtedly maintain running a blog and sharing my story and sharing my feelings and my ideas. I believe if I can have a little bit of a platform to share for different individuals going via one thing related – if that helps individuals – then I’ll maintain doing that, too. Till I’ve obtained nothing left to say.”

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