Dan H
Posted by

The journey so far!

Dan H
Posted by
22 Mar 2015

Dan, 24 yrs, Essex Blog 1:

It all started back in December 2011 when i was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I suppose its just one of those things that doesn't sink in, or seem "real" for a while.. thats how it seemed with me anyway.

In February 2012 I began my chemotherapy and of course didn't really know what to expect. I was to have 6 cycles of AVBD chemotherapy followed by another PET scan, as well as a scan halfway through the course. It all became a bit more "real" once the side effects hit me, I suffered badly with sickness over the whole course of treatment which lasted 14 months overall.

Even though I had been told that this type of chemotherapy was an aggressive one, nothing could really prepare me for how it was going to make me feel, although 2 of my close friends did shave their hair off as I lost mine which helped knowing people were there for me and willing to do such a thing to make me feel better about myself. After my 3rd cycle of chemotherapy my PET scan showed no activity and i was in remission a lot quicker than I expected! I had to finish the whole course of treatment which was another 3 cycles but it was a weight off the mind knowing I'd beaten it, and being told the chances of it returning were slim which was reassuring.

Unfortunately in December (again) of 2014 I had a PET scan due to feeling unwell for a period of time and was told shortly after that my lymphoma had relapsed, and that i would need to have more chemotherapy. I suppose it was more difficult to come to terms with this time around because I knew what was coming, and i had a hard time on the ABVD chemo from before especially with nausea and vomiting, as well as not being able to eat properly.

After having all the tests done again such as a bone marrow biopsy etc i was then placed under the care of the UCLH hospital in London where i would have 2 cycles of intensive ESHAP chemotherapy. I finished the course of chemo on the 15th feb of this year (2015). I had a good response to it but my latest scan showed that I still have the disease. The next step (which began 3 days ago) is a new kind of treatment that has aparently proved successful so fingers crossed! It's an antibody based treatment called 'Brentuximab' and so far I haven't had any side effects at all which means no nausea or sickness!! :-) :-)

In 9 weeks time I will have another PET scan to see I am in remission again or not. If I am I will need a stem cell transplant afterwards. Again, no idea what to expect but lets do it!. Positivity and having friends and family around are what have gotten me this far because there were times when my treatment seemed like it was getting too much, but got to keep moving forwards!

Thanks for reading my first (and probably awful) first attempt at a blog lol will be back with another update in a few weeks. Keep smiling! x

Comments

23.03.2015

Hi Dan,

Thanks so much for writing your first blog which was far from rubbish and really, really informative!

You've adopted such a wonderful attitude towards the lymphoma and it's great to hear that you've got such a strong support base behind you. Treatment for NHL has come a long way in recent years and it sounds very encouraging that you've responded so well to the Brentuximab which has been very successful with other patients.

Keep us updated on how you get on and if you need any support/information about stem cell transplants please don't hesitate to drop me an email at ajackson@beatingbloodcancers.org.uk. We're all in this together and will help you every step of the way!

Anonymous
23.03.2015

All the best on your results dan hope it's good news good luck for the future

Anonymous
24.03.2015

Thanks for the insight. I needed to know how it felt like for others. I was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last 3 weeks ago. I'm scheduled for a PET scan this week. I don't know how to feel, like it hasn't sinked in yet. But I'm optimistic. Hope you're doing well! Keep the updates coming! God bless.

25.03.2015

yeah i think its the same for most people to be honest..
takes a while to sink in but the most important thing is staying positive and actually believing you can beat it.
everyone reacts differently to the treatment but hopefully you wont feel too bad.

All the best

x

Anonymous
13.04.2015

Hi Dan

Best of luck to you! You sound very positive, which can be hard but will definitely help you. Thankfully I've yet to go through any of this - I have low grade NHL - but I would hope I could have something of your attitude if I had to go through what you've experienced!

I hope everything turns out well for you.

Rob

Anonymous
13.04.2015

You can do this Dan. I have so far had 36 months of chemo & 12 radiotherapy & am still smiling & loving life! Live a day at a time & try to remain focused on the end result with a few swear words thrown in & lots of laughter with loved ones. xx Sarah

Anonymous
13.04.2015

Hi Dan,
My partner has recently finished his ABVD but for Hodgkins! Best of luck for your future treatment. All things crossed for positive news at your next scan! X

Anonymous
13.04.2015

Wishing you every bit of support possible, your positive attitude is admirable.
Looking forward to following your progress

Anonymous
13.04.2015

I am survivor of none hid lymphoma 9 years after 2 bone marrow trasplants as you know it's hell but I fight hard
Today I am cancer free but planty side edicts
Doctors visits hospital and more
Hang in there you are very yong
I was 53 when I gat sick and now 65
We are difrent after cancer you are in my prayers
Doctors told me I had 7 months to leave 2006
But I am here
Stay strong focus posative thinking
Sorry for your mother but today medesin is a lot better don't ever give up

Anonymous
13.04.2015

Hi dan, I was in uclh as well, t13 and recently t16, they are fab there and will get you to where u need to be! Take no shit of the nurses or give it back!!! They are an excellent team to be looked after by.

I had ALL and am 2 months post transplant, so fingers crossed it all goes well, just attending all the clinics on Mondays at the mo, maybe see u up there one day

Good luck

Anonymous
13.04.2015

Hi Dan,

Just want to wish you all the luck in the world with your treatment. I survived a rare form of leukaemia called APML a few years ago, although the treatment was different I can relate to what you describe. Just want to say you seem really strong and brave and just stay focused on your future and believe you will be well again. When I was going through it I used to think of it like walking on a tight rope, if you look down you would get scared and fall off. Just keep looking straight a head at the goal of the cancer being gone and being well again...hope this helps!

Anonymous
13.04.2015

What a wonderful lad all the best luck in the world and a brilliant blog!

13.04.2015

Hi Dan

Hang on in there. So glad you have friends and family to help ou through.

 

Let me know how you get on

Anonymous
14.04.2015

The hospital is amazing, had my treatment for NHL there. Your blog is so brave, you are going to battle through again. Take care of you Naomi