darren g.
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You can beat what your going through

darren g.
Posted by
10 Nov 2015

My story of having non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Hello, my name is Darren. I am 35 year old guy from Kent and this is the story of my experiences with non-Hodgkin lymphoma which I hope will help others going through treatment. 

It all started back when I was 20 when I remember suffering from really severe back pain and couldn't even walk without walking like a old man. I  was also being sick almost as soon as I had anything to eat and drink. Something was wrong but I just didn't know what it was.

That something wrong turned out to be non-Hogkin lymphoma.

At first I thought there was no hope but when I was moved to a London Hosptial I started to believe i would be ok if I beileved it would be. My sister showed me in detail what non-Hogkin lymphoma was and I got to understand more about the disease.

It was a very hard time for me during my treatment especially as an old Arsenal player, David Rocastle, died of lymphoma when he was in his 30s. He had only stopped playing football a few years ago and as a mad arsenal fan that hit my hard. I thought how can I make it if he didn't?

I spent a lot of time lying in hosptial feeling sorry for myself but the turning point came when my Aunty gave me a call in hosptial. She was amazing and the reason i am an Arsenal fan is because of her. She had been fighting breast cancer on and off for years and looking back I wished I had asked her questions but I never wanted to at the time.

She knew i was ill but didn't know what was wrong and kept on and on until the family told her. She was in her last days but still thinking of others phoned me and told me I would be ok.

Two days later my mum left my room in hospital to take a phone call and walked past my room in tears. I knew Aunty B had gone and I couldn't even get out of bed to give my mum a hug to comfort her after the loss of her sister. That changed everything for me. I was determined to go to her funeral even though the doctors said no.

At the service I stood up shaking beacuse it was so hard for me to stand. My sister and best mate were either side of me trying to help me but I wanted to do it myself for Aunty B. I had lost about 5 stone and walked in with my Arsenal coat on as none of the other stuff still fitted me.

My family were so pleased to see me and my mum just started crying when she saw me. It felt good to be somewhere other than the four walls of the hospital room even though it was such a sad day.

After 6 lots of R-chop chemo and all the crap that goes with it like losing your hair and feeling sick, I finally made it through and have been clear since 2001. My wife is also pregnant and is due in 15 weeks. This after I was told I couldn't have kids!

If I have a girl her middle name is going to be Barabara after my Aunty B. 

In 2002 arsenal won the league only a year after I was given the all clear and I bought a T-shirt saying champions and put that on my Aunty's grave.

The moral of this post, I guess, is that if you believe in your mind you can beat it you stand a much better chance. I hope my experiences help others going through a hard time and I want to talk to others and help others who have been through similar experiences so please do feel free to leave a comment. 

Thanks,

Darren

Comments

13.11.2015

Darren,

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with non-Hodgkin lymphoma so openly. Believing that I was going to get better really helped me through my own battle with blood cancer (I had CML).

I'm really sorry to hear about your Aunt but she would be so proud of you, I'm sure. My mum was terminally ill when I was having my transplant and it became a real possiblity that I wouldn't be out of hospital in time to attend her funeral but I did, just, and I'm convinced that having something to fight for in that way helped me recover quicker.

Incidentally my bone marrow transplant was on May 14, 2004. The day before Arsenal became invincible! How weird is that?

29.11.2015

Hi Darren, thank you for sharing your story, and congratulations to you and your wife. I hear strongly your message to stay positive and believe that you can fight this vile disease I too have NHL, I had six sessions of RCHOP and then two sessions of rituxamab, not sure of that spelling ! Last year, just after Christmas and between new year 2015 I was told that although most of it had gone, I had a 2cm bit left in my stomach, so I was than referred to UCLH where I have spent all this year in and out, I have attended ambulatory care and had three different ESHAP, IVE, MILLILEAN, forms of strong chemo, each time I have developed an infection whilst being neutropenic, so spent a big chunk of 2015 in and out of hospital. I have now started a drugs trial designed to zap the cancer cells, but not my other cells as none of the  salvage chemo has worked, and I am now resistant to the chemo. I am really, really struggling to stay positive, my nurse and consultant say we are still treating you to get rid and then have a stem cell transplant, but for some reason I just cannot get my positive head back, I can to the. rest of the world, my husband, daughters and grandsons, but I keep thinking I'm only 54, I have so much more I want to do,  but then I wake up and I have been planning my funeral in my sleep, how to I get my positive head back ?