Chapter 1: The start of my journey with NHL

So… Where to start?

Well, 3 weeks ago I woke up in the morning with what doctors had presumed up until that point was a chest infection or asthma, and I went to sleep on a ward in hospital having had a chest X-ray and being told that they were pretty sure that I had lymphoma… Yeah… “One of those days” just doesn’t quite cut it ha!

After spending the night in the hospital to have a CT scan the following day, they let me go home to just wait for results really, which let me tell you has to be the strangest 3 weeks of my life. It’s a very odd feeling when someone tells you that they think you have cancer (and even after you’ve seen the mass on an X-ray and marvelled at the size of it), it’s very difficult to actually believe them. You think ‘No that can’t be right, I’m fit and healthy and a vegan for Pete’s sake!’ How can I have been walking around for most likely months with a tumour in the centre of my chest squeezing the blood vessels and my heart and decreasing my lung size and not have known it?! Apparently, it’s because I’m fit and healthy and so my body has compensated for the changes. Catch 22 I suppose.

So three weeks have passed and in those three weeks, I have had a biopsy, more blood tests than I can count, two CT scans, been made radioactive for the day for a PET scan and been officially diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is classed as a blood cancer of the lymphatic system. Still waiting on final in detail test results to confirm the specific sub-type of NHL (there are 50?!!?!) but they’ve narrowed it down to either Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma or Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma, which are both a mouthful.

I’m one of those people who finds the human body and the workings of it fascinating. I have to know everything about everything. I need to know how the cancer works, how the drugs work; the science of it all. The word ‘cancer’ has such a stigma around it. It invokes thoughts of foreign masses in the body; something very wrong that shouldn’t be there, which is true in part, but it is just a part of me, a part of my body that has had the wrong information sent to it and gone a bit wild. It’s still a part of me, a group of cells that are reproducing way too fast and causing problems. Albeit rather big problems for me, throttling my heart and major blood vessels and pushing my lungs out of the way!

I’ve been told by many reliable sources that usually Lymphomas respond extremely well to treatment and that they can be cured. So that’s what we’re aiming for. Complete remission. I knew my stubbornness and hard-headedness would come into use one day! I am going to kick this cancer’s butt.

I thought I was having a tough time of things up until a month ago, not being able to find a job since finishing my Master’s degree but this has given me a whole new look on life and made me appreciate things that perhaps I overlooked before?

And Sod’s bloody law, of course, I was actually offered a job the day I was diagnosed haha. You wait months for a job offer and then you get cancer πŸ˜‚

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10 thoughts on “Chapter 1: The start of my journey with NHL

  1. It’s here and it’s real… but you’ll beat it.. as many have done and will continue to with the help of our wonderful NHS… stay strong and positive.. cancer hates that..good bless xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucy – you have the right attitude, and you CAN and WILL beat this. I have a wonderful friend (the niece of a best friend – same age as you) who had the same diagnosis with the same type of cancer some 4 years ago and within a year, was cancer-free. She too, like you, had a great positive outlook and a very healthy lifestyle – the cancer, quite simply, didn’t stand a chance. You go girl!! Kick the absolute hell out of the pesky nuisance!. Much love from Cathy – Auntie Dog to Bert and Daisy xx and ps: if you’d like me to put you in touch with the lovely Charity, who beat this, then please let me know via your mum – she’d be super supportive and a great help to know someone who’s been through the same journey as you xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love you Luce! You are one amazing and strong woman who is going to kick C’s butt! Always here every step of the way πŸ˜˜πŸ’–πŸ¦„ x x x x x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a remarkable young lady you are. Keith and I are so very, very proud of you and Sky’s here too, ready for yr woofie snuggles & kisses. Looking forward to you being in the clear x all our love as always πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

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