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John Adams' story

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16 Aug 2011

“Last year I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, aged 70 years.

“It all started in July 2010 when I was literally brought to my knees by a blinding abdominal pain and rushed to hospital. Here it was discovered that I had a ruptured bowel, and needed immediate surgery.

“Further investigation revealed, unknown to me at the time, that there was a large tumour growing on my liver. I was then diagnosed with a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, called peripheral T cell lymphoma.

“Cancer. I prepared myself for all possible prognoses, from the sublime to the hopeless. But, whatever the answer, I knew I needed to keep a positive mental attitude, at all times.

“I was extremely relieved when my doctor told me I was to start chemotherapy right away. It meant that there was hope.

“I was put on the standard chemotherapy regime for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma which is a mixture of anti-cancer drugs known as CHOP. I had to keep reminding myself that this was only the beginning and not let myself get too down-hearted by any set-backs in my response to treatment.

“Happily, I experienced very few side-effects as a result of the drugs. The anti-sickness tablets did very well at preventing nausea.

“I did however suffer some trouble from the lumbar puncture injections that were administered sequentially throughout my treatment course. The first left me with a severe headache lasting for 10 whole days. I was not looking forward to the next injection, which was to be administered on 22 December, and bound to interrupt the Christmas festivities, not just for me, but the whole family.

“Luckily, I was spared the awful headache this time, but I did experience uncomfortable tingling in my joints. This made even the simplest of tasks like buttoning up my clothes, very difficult. 

“However, as always, I called on my positive mental attitude to get me through. My biggest concern was not to ruin Christmas for my loved ones, who were all working so hard to help me through this. 

“After more gruelling treatment, including a last bout of very intensive chemotherapy, I am in remission, having had confirmation in April 2011 from the results of a scan. This is really great news, at least for the immediate future.

“My family have been amazing through this. From the beginning my wife had the pill organisation sorted, making sure I took the right drugs at the right time.

“Earlier this year my step son Ryan completed the London Marathon to raise money for  the Lymphoma Association, and support people like me who have faced this blood cancer.

“My two sons, Chris and David, are now hard in training for a Big Cricket Ride, to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, and support better treatments for people with blood cancer.

“The aim is to cycle to all 18 cricket grounds in England and Wales this autumn with the support of some cricket legends. 

“Cricket is a big passion of mine, and one of my few comforts when undergoing treatment. Both my sons were professional cricketers, so it feels very appropriate to do this, and support others who are going through treatment for lymphoma.”

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