Wend
Posted by

Fighting follicular lymphoma

Wend
Posted by
13 Jun 2014

“They say that you know your body and that's true. From 2009 I knew something was not quite right. I was not particularly tired - in fact I had taken up running half marathons to keep fit! I was not losing weight, but I was experiencing frequent night sweats and various non-specific pains. Doctor after doctor told me it was my age or worse, in my head. One even asked if I really liked myself as they thought I was depressed!

But I kept going back time after time with a new symptom, each time to be told the same story. Eventually in 2010 I was forwarded to a gynaecologist and a CT was performed. The results were fine in terms of my ovaries but I had an enlarged lymph node attached to my bowel and it was recommended that I was referred to a haematologist. It would be several more demands and a further 18 months before I was finally referred.

On 23 December 2011 at 3.30pm aged 46, I was told I had stage 4b follicular lymphoma and would have to start chemotherapy. Furthermore the condition is generally classed as incurable. I was in shock, scared but also numb. He could not possibly be talking about me? Christmas was awful - my son and heavily pregnant daughter as well as my parents were all coming for Christmas Day. I could not face ruining the day so I kept it to myself until after the Christmas holidays and I was forced to tell them.

They have been my strength, as has my first granddaughter Alice born between treatments 1 and 2 of R-CVP. I finished my last treatment in June 2012 and am currently in full remission and on two years Rituximab.

2013 is a new year - I no longer take things for granted and I have started running again. Not quite half marathons, but I will be running the Race for Life and the National Lottery Olympic 5 mile run this year, I know that I am lucky the maintenance I am undergoing is only possible because of research and has only been available for a few years...who knows what can be achieved in the next few years with more research?

Supporting research is just not a charitable gift that could help someone, somewhere. It is an investment in the future for all of us because when it happens we look to medicine to help us, to fix us. New drugs and research mean that more and more people can be helped.

The funny thing is that I still have night sweats....but as my wonderful consultant says..."Wendy, this time it really is your age!"

Comments

16.06.2014

Hi Wendy,

 

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's absolutely brilliant to hear that you're in full remission and enjoying life again. How did Race for Life and the Olympic 5 miler go?

Couldn't agree more about your comments regarding making donations - they are 100% an investment in the future which can help thousands of patients. The improvments in treatment that have been made thanks to fundraisers since 1960 are proof of that with some forms of childhood leukaemias now up to an almost 90% survival rate. That's extraordinary and the only reason I am still here is thanks to the advances that have been made in bone marrow transplantation.

All the best,

Andy 

Anonymous
24.06.2014

Hi Andy

Thanks for you mail... Well both runs went ok and I have also just completed the 10k bupa run in London for cancer research Uk.

It's great to hear that bone marrow technology help you, I know that it is likely that I will face that journey in the future... But for today life is for living... Your email has also reminded me to update my blog...:) so feel free to keep in touch!

Have a fantastic day

Anonymous
24.06.2014

2 years of Rituximab has now finished... The weird thing to desk with is all the celebration by my family... I thought I would be the same but strangely I am apprehensive for what this means... I seem to be left with more questions...I have a catch up with the nurses tomorrow so hopefully I can get my head around post round 1 against FNHL!

30.06.2014

Hi Wendy,

You're welcome! Sounds like your fundraising efforts are going really well. It must be nice to be able to be giving something back - I've found that's really helped me over the years and it also gave me an element of control while I was undergoing treatment.

I wish you all the best for the future and look forward to reading your next blog. If you have any questions about the transplant process, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Cheers,

Andy