Louise Smith
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What a difference ten years makes

Louise Smith
Posted by
04 Mar 2017

Life after treatment for HL, the ups and downs (mainly ups)

So ten years ago I was probably at one of the most contented periods of my life. Children were growing up, we were having lovely holidays, no money worries, and for the past two years I had a job which I enjoyed. The one blot was that I had a few niggling health worries. I thought they were perhaps age related.

My GP was puzzled by blood results (The patient says she has no alcohol problems) and ECG results, but continued to monitor me. My previous blogs tell of my problems encountered with Hodgkin's Lymphoma...Emergency admission and operation at the hospital where I had gone for a 2nd opinion, chemo, then realising that Hodgkin's was not going to give up his hold on me as easily as first thought. The search for a stem cell donor drew a blank, as even the six siblings tested were not a match, so the drama surrounding my stem cells followed.

Today marks 8 years since I had my SCT, and tomorrow I celebrate another birthday with my family. We are going to Prezzo's (my grandson's choice). Okay, life isn't always easy. I seem to have so many medical appointments, and tire easily because of heart problems caused by HL presentation. I'm not allowed to fly or have spa treatments. On the plus side I get to spend time with the grandchildren I never thought I would live to see, I have become a lady who lunches, (because I had to take early retirement) and I have had time to renew and nurture friendships, as well as make new ones.

Today it is fitting that there is a rally going ahead in support of our fabulous NHS. I know that my chances of survival would have been shortened even more if I had lived elsewhere.

I would also like to thank my fabulous Bloodwise family for all the support they have given me over the past 5 years. I wish I had known about you when I was ill, but perhaps it was fate and the right time when you came into my life.

On Monday I am going to review my will. The last time I did was when I was so poorly that it was touch and go whether I would be around much longer. This time I can put more thought into it, and so I am arranging a small legacy to Bloodwise.

I am also going to support Toby Peach on Thursday at Bromsgrove, which I asked for as a birthday present.

When I read what many of you are going through and how you feel post treatment I can relate to that. I can say that it gets easier (apart from the panics before check ups, or thinking this could be the appointment where you get discharged) and when I look back I mostly remember the comical things that happened. I sometimes think if I was a writer it would make a brilliant farce!

Best wishes to you all, whether a survivor, one who is going through treatment, if you are on Watch and Wait, or a carer.