From Lymphoma to Leukemia
Last updated: September 2023
I had no symptoms with Lymphoma NH when I was diagnosed at 55 except for a swollen abdomen which I put down to menopause. Fortunately, my GP sent me for a scan and within a week I was in hospital having my ovaries out as I had a double hit big cell Lymphoma. This was followed by 6 months of chemo and then I got the all clear.
Cancer had returned
Back to work after 4 months and the same year a routine blood check, 2 strange bruises showed cancer had returned. this time it was Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia with the Philadelphia - mutation. Not good news. Immediate aggressive chemo, 8 weeks in a protected hospital room.
I got out on 24 Dec. Christmas lunch has never tasted so good! Then followed 9 intensive chemo 3-day hospital stays with regular lumbar, sternum punctures and 50 platelets transfusions. I have been in remission now for almost a year but I am on oral chemo for another 2 years which is stronger than I had realised.
Learning to live with it
It’s a long struggle. I'm learning to live with it. I have suffered lots of side effects: peripheral neuropathy from toes up to waist, lots of joint pain, mild heart failure ( recovered), bouts of extreme fatigue with no appetite, liver and kidney toxicity, ulcers ...but I’m still here after 3 years so I’m thankful.
For me, the worst part is the constant anxiety I inflict on my children, parents and husband who are very supportive. I try to stay strong and optimistic for them. I enjoy craft projects, gardening, reading, and baking.
How do you feel about your support system?