Ian M.
Posted by

Non Hodgkins Lymphoma: My experience

Ian M.
Posted by
30 Jun 2016

My wife and I attended the Glasgow Impact Day and we were both very impressed by the format of the meeting and especially the excellent behaviour of the children accompanying their parents

In 2013 we were living in Aberdeenshire and had visited our new grandson in Glasgow three or four times when we took the decision to move nearer as the travelling was becoming tedious. From May onwards, we visited several websites and had over 20 actual house viewings before settling on our ideal place in Strathaven in early August.

The day after agreeing to buy, we set off back home and that was when I first became aware of a back pain that i hadn't experienced before. A visit to my doctor three days later provided a diagnosis of Diverticulitis, which the symptoms seemed to indicate, and I was prescribed antibiotics for two weeks. They made no difference. A further visit to my GP led him to suggest me going into Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for a scan to which I readilly agreed but also advised him that we were moving home to Lanarkshire in two weeks.

I had a scan early on Friday 13th September and at 4pm the registrar pulled the curtains round my bed and told me that I had a very large tumour located between my spine and my stomach. And this is when he said the words that carried me through the next five months, " If it's what I think it is, we can cure it, not just treat it but CURE it"

The radiologist at ARI was on holiday and a request for a replacement to carry out the necessary biopsy was not forthcoming so the following two weeks were a bit fraught with me taking powerful painkillers to stem the pain. We moved to Strathaven on 1st October and I visited my new GP surgery at Avondale for the first time. Everyone there seemed to know all about me and an appointment was made for that afternoon with my new GP Dr Houston. The registrar at ARI had forwarded full details to her and she had arranged for me to see a haemotologist at Hairmyres hospitalon 3rd October. He arranged for a biopsy the following week and the resulting diagnosis of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma came on my wife's birthday the 18th October. What a present to get!

My chemotherapy started on the 30th October and ended on 14th February 2014. A wonderful St Valentine's present. I have regular three monthly checks which have just recently been extended to five months so things must be moving in the right direction. I am so grateful to the NHS and the seamless transition from Aberdeenshire to Lanarkshire whilst we were in the depths of despair. Nothing more could have been done for us at the time. Thank you so much!


Lizzie Goates

Hi Ian, thank you so much for this insight into your experiences with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I cannot begin to imagine what you and your wife have been through, especially finding out your diagnosis on her birthday! How are you? It sounds like your treatment has gone well as you begin to see your consultant less and I hope your beginning to feel more yourself again. It is fantastic to read the NHS were so helpful with your treatment transition, we really are also so grateful for all the wonderful work so many people do in the NHS. I am also very glad you enjoyed our Scottish impact day, and I very much agree with your comment about the very well behaved children!  Take care Lizzie

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