Thursday 25 December 2014

RTE's Louise McSharry reveals shock cancer diagnosis

Published 27/08/2014 | 10:42

DJ Louise McSharry
DJ Louise McSharry
Radio Personalities Conor Lynch and Louise McSharry

RTE radio presenter Louise McSharry has revealed she has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

The 30-year-old, who's due to wed long-term boyfriend Gordan Spierin next year, made the revelation on Ryan Tubridy's 2FM show.

McSharry has been working full-time as a 2FM presenter for the last year.

Louise McSharry: 'A stint in hospital will give you perspective'

Louise was hospitalised earlier this month and has been undergoing a series of tests, and biopsies in recent weeks.

"I went into hospital and they did loads of different tests," she told the radio show. "Eventually some growths on my spleen showed an enlarged lymph node on my arm.

"Two weeks ago I felt fine."

Doctors initially thought she was suffering from an infection after having her appendix removed last December.

"Basically, I had my appendix out in December and I had a little abscess after that and I felt normal for a couple of months," she explained.

"I felt a little bit strange, I lost my appetite, I stopped getting my period, I started having started these major gross sweats - really intense.

"I went to my GP and did a series of blood tests. My CRP level is really high which indicates your body is fighting something like an inflammation or infection.

"She thought it was residual from the appendix, I went back to the appendix consultant, he did a scan and everything looked normal. Another consultant tested me for everything under the sun. I was a little out of sorts, the sweats stopped and my appetite and period were the main things bothering me. Those made me think there was something wrong.

"I'm the kind of person who would downplay these things. I've never been sick, really. I knew something wasn't right. I was referred to the infectious disease unit and I started going to see them every week. The theory was that I had a hiding, dormant infection from the appendix."

In conversation with Ryan Tubridy, whom she covered earlier this summer during his BBC stint, she explained: "They did really thorough examinations, but while I was covering for you, I started to have a pain in my side. it wasn't going away.

"I spoke to my doctor who suggested they admit me.  It was funny because it felt like a very bad stitch and I only got it when I walked distances. Sitting here, doing the show, I was totally fine - I convinced myself I was fine,  but walking from here in RTE across to the bus stop, I would have this really bad pain.

"I have genuinely no doubt I'm going to be fine."

Louise is determined to maintain a positive outlook, saying: "I'm going to do six months of chemotherapy and after six months, they're going to tell me I'm cured and can go back to my life."

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, causing the nodes to enlarge or swell.

Louise was hospitalised in August for a week and wrote a column for the Irish Independent from her hospital bed.

"I was admitted last week after a long series of appointments with various doctors and countless blood tests failed to figure out what was going on with a mysterious and lingering ailment," she wrote. "They can get more tests done more quickly with me in here, so here I am."

"Your health really is your wealth. It kills to me admit it, because I've spent years rolling my eyes at the corny expression, but it's true. What use is a fancy job, a fat bank account or a gorgeous house if you're stuck in a hospital bed? None at all," she concluded.

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