Smiling Through Cancer Treatment Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic


In this episode of the “CURE Talks Cancer” podcast, we spoke with a teenager who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We talked about her cancer journey, what it was like to receive treatment during the pandemic, and more.

In November 2019, Mikari Tarpley was in ballet class preparing for a dance concert at her performing arts high school when she noticed some extreme tightness in her neck. After class, Mikari looked in the mirror and noticed that her neck looked swollen. When she went home after school, she asked her mom if her neck looked different, and when her mom agreed, they decided to go to the doctor.

At first, doctors thought it was a goiter or some other thyroid issue, as Mikari’s family has a history of thyroid issues. However, when the medicine she was given to treat a goiter didn’t work and more things began to swell, doctors decided to do more tests. They first thought it was papillary thyroid carcinoma, but more tests determined that it was Hodgkin lymphoma. Diagnosed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Mikari’s last round of chemotherapy was just in July.

In this week’s episode of the “CURE Talks Cancer” podcast, Mikari discusses what it was like to undergo treatment during a pandemic, how she decided to give back to the community during her 16th birthday, and more.

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