On July 1, 21-year-old Danica Di Giovanni (@danicadigio), who’s based in Vancouver, B.C., took to the digital platform to reveal that she’s completed her sixth and final round of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February.
In the 22-second clip, Di Giovanni holds a bouquet of flowers while ringing the bell at her local hospital to signify the end of treatment.
“After being in chronic pain for so long, staying in the hospital for weeks at a time, over 720 hours of chemo, many blood transfusions, and nights in the ER, I am happy to finally say that the Lord has blessed me with the joy and strength to complete it,” reads part of her caption. “I have my final PET scan in august to see if I will be in full remission, until then, I am on my road to recovery. F*** CANCER. I did that.”
“Treatment with radiation and chemotherapy often comes with side effects of nausea, exhaustion, sometimes hair loss, and more,” according to Penn Medicine News. “So when a patient completes their treatment and is given the opportunity to ‘ring the bell’ to mark this milestone and close a difficult chapter, it can be an exciting time to celebrate.”
‘I’ve watched your entire journey and I have been waiting for you to feel this joy and relief. Happy for you love’
Many commenters have taken to Di Giovanni’s videos to congratulate her on her milestone achievement. Some TikTok users who are either personally undergoing chemotherapy or know someone who is are also articulating their hope for the same outcome.
“my final round is in august, hoping for this,” @the_doritogirlonwheels wrote, to which Di Giovanni replied, “you got this!!!!”
“I’ve watched your entire journey and I have been waiting for you to feel this joy and relief,” @izzy.delprete wrote. “Happy for you love.”
On July 3, Di Giovanni shared an additional video showcasing that her mother, who previously battled breast cancer, also rang the bell in October 2021.
“rang it just like my momma did,” she writes.
In early June, Di Giovanni posted a video urging people to heed cancer symptoms she previously ignored. Extreme back and chest pain, constant feelings of tiredness or sleepiness and random weight loss are among the symptoms she mentions.
According to the National Cancer Institute, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is “a type of cancer that forms in the lymph system,” which is part of the immune system.
“Non-Hodgkin lymphoma grows and spreads at different rates and can be indolent or aggressive,” writes the National Cancer Institute. “Indolent lymphoma tends to grow and spread slowly, and has few signs and symptoms. Aggressive lymphoma grows and spreads quickly, and has signs and symptoms that can be severe. The treatments for indolent and aggressive lymphoma are different.”
Should something feel “off,” it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
“please get checked if you feel something is off,” she writes. “it’s so crazy to look back at these pics and realize cancer was making me feel these ways.”
Di Giovanni wanted to share her journey on social media in hopes of building community and reaching others who may have been fighting a similar battle.
“I actually made friends and met a lot of people along the way through social media that are going through the exact same chemo treatment at the same time I was,” she told In The Know by Yahoo via Instagram. “Going through cancer at a young age can feel isolating but having those people there really helped me, and I wouldn’t have met a lot of them if I didn’t share my story.”
Added Di Giovanni, “I hope others in their 20s take away that life is so precious and tomorrow really isn’t promised. … Life is a gift and we are so lucky to be living it.”
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