I HAD A LYMPHOMA/31

THE LIFE OF BRIAN and HIGH DOSE CHEMO etc.

One of the most reassuring aspects of having to deal with cancer and cancer treatment these days ,is the excellent help, advice and information available to patients via specialist cancer Charities. In previous Hubs, I have made note of the Macmillan Cancer Research and recently, Leukaemia Research and the Lymphoma Association. All of these I know first hand do superb work.

Ken Campbell at Leukaemia Research, as well as providing me with excellent support information on High Dose Chemo/Stem Cell Transplant, also put me in touch with the Leukaemia Association, who he felt, would be able to possibly link me ,via their "Buddy" scheme to someone who had had the treatment and lived to tell the tale.

Thus, a call there, linked me to a very helpful lady called Jo and through her, to Brian, who revealed he had had the treatment for his Non-Hodgkin"s cancer back in 2001. 10 years and still going is in itself a recommendation.

Brian ,as helpful as anyone could be, told me he discovered his cancer as 2 lumps on his neck. Like me, he had no real other warning, mine just being loss of appetite of course. He was 65 at the time and like me had initially, 8 Chop Treatments, though no Intrathecal Lumbar Punctures. At that time he had no adverse side effects and was then advised to have High Dose etc, for which he was admitted to Nottingham Hospital in the East Midlands, not far from where he lives. He was given, at that time no information on the Treatment, risk of Mortality or percentage chances of return with and without the treatment. The only thing he was advised upon was not to expect to breeze through the High Dose as he had done with the Chop.

In the event, Brian advised he suffered from 4/5 days of bad sickness and diarrhea and felt not at all well during that period but that once it had subsided he made good progress. The removal and return of the bone marrow caused no problems to him and he was allowed to return home after 3 and a half weeks when they determined the immune system was up to it. After that it was a case of taking things easy to further build up the system and return the body to normality. Now 10 years on , he has annual Hospital checks and has had no hint of any return. Thus, for Brian, the treatment, and bear in mind this was 10 years ago, was an unqualified success. He did say that he was pleased he had not known about the risks at the time and was spared my current dilemma.

It was helpful to be able to discuss with someone from a patient perspective, the treatment and the actuality of what takes place in Hospital. Again, it did not make my mind up for me, but Brian was living and lively testimony that the treatment certainly worked in his case.

MORE RESEARCH.

1. KEN CAMPBELL.

I returned to Ken at Leukaemia Research and we discussed my conversation with Brian in detail. I was also keen to discuss further the return of the bone marrow and the disease that can affect mortality. Ken explained this is called GVHD and obtains when the body rejects the returned bone marrow, believing it not to be of its own but a foreign interloper. Apparently this is very rare but at least gives me another key question for the Consultant at make my mind up time. We also discussed the effects on the intestines, considering my operation and coeliac condition and it was interesting to learn that whilst it could take time for the gut floor to readjust, having had all the bacteria there, some of which is helpful of course,knocked out, that in some cases that once it had so done it was found that the coeliac condition had been removed as well. Food for thought there too!

2. LYMPHOMA RESEARCH.

I returned to Lymphoma Research to ask if they could locate a further "Buddy", like Brian but who had received treatment more recently. They are currently seeking out someone for me if possible, whilst at the same time, I received from them via the post a bundle of useful information on treatment, including a comprehensive booklet on High Dose etc which my wife is avidly studying whilst I write this Hub. As I said at the start of the Hub, the patient today is brilliantly served all-round and the work of the Charities is worthy of support from us all.

My family are stepping up to the plate on this. First, my stepson Ryan, a local schoolteacher, and a boy at only 31, is running the London Marathon this year and has chosen Leukaemia Research as his Charity to support. This is his second run and he hopes to beat 3 hours 45 mins ,that being his time for the first run.

Secondly, in October, in association with the Sir Ian Botham Cancer Charity, my two ageing sons, {41 and 44 years respectively} are undertaking the challenge they have established to cycle to every County Cricket Club and their County Ground. There are 18 County Club Grounds ranging from Durham down to Hampshire in the South and already they are getting support from the world of Cricket and beyond with many stars from sport pledging to ride along with them on various stages.

I AM PROUD OF BOTH THESE FAMILY INITIATIVES WHICH ARE MIRRORED TIMES OVER BY OTHERS ELSEWHERE EACH AND EVERY YEAR AND WHICH HELP PROVIDE VITAL FUNDS FOR BOTH RESEARCH AND CHARITY ACTIONS WHICH CONTINUE TO PUSH BACK THE BOUNDARIES AND AS A RESULT GIVE PATIENTS LIKE ME A BETTER CHANCE OF SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT

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Comments 2 comments

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celeBritys4africA 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I know how hard can be, I am trying to create awareness on cancer in Africa.


j w adams 5 years ago from Essex/ Alanya/ Hurghada Author

Thank you and good luck with your efforts in Africa. I am sure the Charities Ispoke of will be of help to you.

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