Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Nitty Gritty of Hodgkin Lymphoma

So for my next blog post, I firstly just want to thank everybody for their support and love, it truly has been overwhelming and very heart-warming for both me and my family and we all do truly appreciate it. I thought I’d give you all a bit more information into Hodgkins Lymphoma as I want to raise this awareness and inform people about it and of the symptoms connected to HL and to also give you a little update as to how I am and what I've been up to!

What is Hodgkin Lymphoma? 
HL is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Around 1,700 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year. It can affect people at any age. However, it is more common in people who are 20 to 34 years old or over 70 years old’ - Macmillan 
How Lymphoma is treated - 
The main treatments used for HL is chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Depending on the stage and type of cancer you have, your age and general health, and which body parts are affected depends on the treatment you have, it could be one of these or both. I am having 6 months of chemotherapy as I have stage 2..

Signs and symptoms -
For me, my biggest symptom was finding the lump in my neck (I’ll put a pic below.)  However, on reflection I did have other symptoms as well as this. I had really bad night sweats, but I put this down to the long hot summer we have just had..I also did lose a bit of weight but not to the extent where I was worried. A pain from alcohol, but I didn’t have this and this is quite rare. The one symptom for me which really stands out for me, is tiredness. I was constantly tired. I would have a full 10 hours sleep and still be struggling to keep my eyes open by the evening, and a five hour shift at my local pub would knock me for six…warning signs, I know. The final symptom for me which made me do something about what was going on, was the feeling of breathlessness. The feeling of having someone sat on my chest and having to lie a certain way in bed just so I could breath properly was the final nail in the coffin for me. In hindsight, if I had known about Lymphoma and the symptoms of it, I probably would have caught it a lot sooner then I originally did and I’m hoping that by writing this, someone else could be reading this thinking “well, I’ve got that…and that” and will go to the doctors. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get any lumps and bumps checked, or even if you just feel unwell, listen to your body because I did and look where I am now…lol. However, just to confuse you a bit more, some people have Lymphoma and don’t have any symptoms, but this is found through tests for other conditions. 

Life update - 
Sooo, last Tuesday I had my second session of chemo (10 more to go!!) and the nurse told me how my white blood cells were quite low so I have to have injections so they reproduce as I currently have an extremely low immune system..but other than that, chemo 2 went okay. The only way I can describe my side effects is like one big fat hangover that lasts for about a week, but with added aches, pains, tummy ache, nausea and a really sore mouth. I should start to feel better this week but the aches and pains stick around and so does the extreme tiredness, for example, going out for lunch really does take it out of you and leaves you rendered useless! Apart from that, I have been okay, my hair has started to come out more and to be honest, it's really not great, it has made me realise that I am actually poorly. It's quite annoying really, there is hair on everything and it gets everywhere..sorry mum!! 

I know this post is a lot of information and could seem boring for people to read, but it’s an important topic to me and could hopefully save someone’s life. 

Thank you for reading and lots of love…Grace xo 


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