From Lymphoma to Leukemia

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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