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Overcoming the Unthinkable: Ringing the Bell After Lymphoma – Rose Compton’s Story

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She’s a future doctor, and student, who lives an active lifestyle.  Yet, in her gut, she knew that something was “off” and understood the importance of self-advocacy. Her intuition was correct, for the physical symptoms she was experiencing. As a young and typically very healthy woman, Rose Compton, received devastating news: She has Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer. She shared with Social The Lifestyle Magazine, her health and cancer journey: 

Meghan Forte: Can you share any signs or symptoms of when you started to notice something was “off”? 

Rose Compton: My first sign was extreme itchiness. It was mostly on my legs, and actually began almost a year before my other symptoms and diagnosis. I later developed a cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and night sweats. I’ve always been extremely active but it got to the point where I could barely walk across a room. I went through rounds of allergy testing and the doctors told me I had asthma. I pressed further and asked for a chest X-ray, which ultimately showed an 11 cm tumor in my chest.

Meghan Forte: You are also active on social media. Do you find it a community for support for others in your shoes?

Rose Compton:  Ever since I shared my diagnosis on my social media, I’ve felt immense support. It’s been really beautiful reconnecting with people who I haven’t spoken to in years. Everyone has been so uplifting in my comments and DM’s, and it truly makes a difference. I honestly haven’t connected too much with other cancer survivors— it’s mostly been interactions with people already in my social circle. I also downloaded TikTok for the first time right after my diagnosis, and it’s been super fun making silly little videos to help cope.

Meghan Forte: Can you share a little bit about what kind of cancer you had, and what do you wish you could let reader’s know about why patient self-advocacy is so important?

Rose  Compton: I have Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I want to preface this by saying that I have the utmost respect for doctors and my healthcare team. That said, my story is a classic example of how important self-advocacy is. My debilitating symptoms were explained away as “asthma”, which left me feeling alone and frustrated. My gut told me something was wrong, so I kept calling for a follow up with my PCP— the soonest appointment was not for another two months. I called five days in a row until there was a last minute cancellation, which I snapped up. At that appointment I specifically asked for a chest X-ray, which fortunately I got. I can’t imagine what could have happened if I waited two months for an appointment. This speaks more to our overall healthcare system in the US than it does about the individual doctors who are a part of it.

Meghan Forte: What provided some comfort or therapeutic healing for you during the treatment? 

Rose Compton: Right now I’m busy staying on track in school and studying for my board exams, but for relaxation I’ve been rewatching Gossip Girl, going for walks, meditating, and reading!

Meghan Forte: What would you like to say to your healthcare heroes ? What type of doctor do you want to become? 

Rose Compton:   I’m so grateful to all of the doctors and nurses who’ve worked with me. It feels good to trust that I’m in good hands and am undergoing the best treatment protocol. The nurse practitioner who I work with is always available over text for any questions that come up, which is a huge help. Looking ahead to my career as a Doctor of Optometry, I want to be the kind of doctor who really listens to their patients, and takes their time to provide the best quality care with empathy.

Meghan Forte: What are your hobbies for fun?

Rose Compton: All of my hobbies are pretty active— I love rock climbing, playing volleyball, and running. I was just learning to surf before my diagnosis as well! I’m taking it easy for now, but I’m excited to get back to my regular activities in a few months.

Meghan Forte: May our readers follow you on social media? 

Rose Compton: Of course, my Instagram and TikTok are both rosecompton_

Thankfully, Rose has been doing well. She recently participated in the Ringing of the Bell Ceremony at the hospital, marking the completion of her treatment and symbolizing her hopeful journey toward a full recovery as a young woman.We at Social The Lifestyle Magazine wish her all the best for good health, and her next chapter. Good luck, Rose, and future Doctor!

Rose Compton’s Instagram Profile 

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Meghan is a content writer. She loves entertainment news and screenwriting. She is a Hallmark Channel fan. In her spare time, she still writes hand written letters to friends and family.

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