Can fatigue hide a serious illness? Unfortunately for Ikram Gacem, this was the case. When she was 18, the student kept falling asleep. “I woke up in the morning and yawned until high school. As soon as I got home, I fell asleep and woke up around 8 p.m., 9 p.m., and I had a lot of homework,” she confided to the Tyla media. At the time, the young woman residing in Oldham in the county of Greater Manchester, was completely exhausted. “All the teachers pushed us to surpass ourselves because there was the baccalaureate at the end of the year. Not only was it a stressful time for everyone, as Terminale students, but I had the impression of being behind,” she continued.
Worried, Ikram quickly went to see her doctor. He was told that his fatigue was due to anemia. “I tried taking iron-rich tablets but it didn’t change anything. I was going back and forth to the doctor and then, during the pandemic when I was taking my classes online, it was the same. I became very lazy and slept a lot,” she added. Everything changed when she noticed a lump on her right collarbone. After a series of tests, the student was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a relatively rare cancer that manifests itself by an enlargement of the lymph nodes.
His advice? Take care of yourself and don’t get overwhelmed by exams
Picked up at the hospital, Ikram was supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust, a cancer care charity. After a long battle, she finally went into remission. It has now been two years since she conquered the disease. The young woman, now 21, wants to raise awareness among the general public, especially students: “We think we are tired because of the exams, but if it’s unusual, you have to consult.” Today, Ikram has recovered: “I feel better mentally because I overcame some difficulties that I went through, but also physically because every day is a challenge.”