Football: NZ defender Rebekah Stott reaches emotional milestone in battle against Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Five months after being diagnosed with cancer, one of the country's top footballers has made an emotional return to the pitch this week.

Football Fern Rebekah Stott has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy and treatments, fighting the toughest battle of her life.

Stott has faced a long road back to doing what she loves.

"Once I went on and everyone cheered, I was like, 'Wow this is very special'. It was a big moment for me, so it was actually quite emotional."  

In February, she received news that no-one wants to hear.

"They had pretty much said 'We're pretty sure it’s lymphoma', then I got on the plane and came home." 

The 27-year old was told she has Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that took several months to diagnose. 

The veteran defender returned from England to Australia to start treatment. 

"The hardest part for me was telling my family and my friends that I have cancer. It's a scary thing."

Despite the scare, Stott's always tried to keep her sense of humour.

"Having a positive mindset helped me get through the hard days and always having something to look forward to once you are done - and then you can beat it."

On Wednesday, she'll find out if she's beaten it and in remission - the same day the Football Ferns open an Olympic campaign that Stott should have been part of.

Instead, she's back in Australia, hoping to be ready for another major tournament - the 2023 World Cup.

"After playing a few minutes the other night, it shows me how much I have missed it and how ready I am to get back out onto the field."

Stott hopes she can win the off-field battles, before she can celebrate on the pitch.