"Living with Lymphoma."

About: Royal Free Hospital / Clinical haematology

(as the patient),

Early in 1999 I was informed that a lump that I had noticed in my neck was actually a cancerous lymph node. Further investigations showed that the disease was widespread and had reached stage lV i.e. it was very advanced.

The prognosis was 'weeks not months'. I remember saying to the Consultant that "all I have to do is to stay alive until you can sort this out". And I am happy to report that that is exactly what I have done!

I had several courses of chemotherapy, some radiation, and an autologous stem cell transplant, that is using my own tissues. This involved a long period in isolation, pneumonia and septicaemia twice! Despite all this after well over a year I had another recurrence. My Consultants, now the transplant team, offered me a new drug. Since that time, which was early in 2004 I have been in remission.

All of this was at The Royal Free; it would be untrue to imply that the journey has been easy but I have had wonderful support and encouragement from family and friends. Immediately after the last treatment my Consultants moved to The Marsden, and invited me to transfer too: an offer I couldn't refuse! I am coping very well with the ongoing anaemia which my GP offered to manage locally with the approval of the Hospital Team.

I continue most of my 'old' activities. I believe that I have received exemplary treatment from all concerned, though I must concede that I have been a model of patient compliance.

After my latest scan my Consultant wrote "you have good reasons for optimism".

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