welcome 2017

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Well here we are into 2017 already. 

Today my mail inbox included my Patient weekly update  which mentioned that things had been a bit quiet lately, so I guess most of us have put our worries and ailments aside to celebrate the Festive Season and welcome in the New Year.

23 Years ago at my diagnosis of NHL (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) I didn't expect to be here writing this blog today.

I have faith in Medical Science and have the scars to prove it.

Having endured chemotherapy (CHOP & CEOP), MabThera (Mono-colony antibody Therapy), BMT (Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation), Radiation x 2 (4 field and 2 field),  2 x Myocardial Infractions (Heart Attacks), CABGS x 5  (Coronary Artery By-pass Grafts), I am pleased to say that I am still here.....preserved by drugs/medication.

Throughout my journey I have experienced the highs and indeed the lows of a possibly terminal illness, particularly after being told by one of my Oncologists that my prognosis was 3 maybe 5 years at best. 

My radiation Oncologist said that he wasn't prepared to be so generous, and to put my affairs in order and get started on my bucket list while I was still capable, rather than be stuck in a bed somewhere saying that I wished that I had of done this or that.

I was extremely lucky to have a wonderful woman in my life who put in so many hours by my hospital bed. 

She endured my pains and anguish, and gave me solace during my darker moments.

I believe that I have achieved Remission, having gone moer than five years without a recurrence, in fact its now fifteen years.

I promised my partner that if I reached the five year mark that I would marry her, and I did. 

This May 26 we will have been married for 10 years.

I guess the true reason for writing this is to get the message out to all of the followers of "PATIENT" on line, is that if you have faith in the doctors and medical staff, faith in yourself and remain positive throughout, you too can become a winner.

I was lined up to have an autologous BMT, had the stem cells harvested and stored, filled up with high dose chemo, and I decided to have a heart attack.  My arteries were heavily calcified from so much previous chemo, to the extent that I was operating on about 30% from five.

Yes, sure there were difficult times and decisions, that had to be faced, and when one is full of Chemo, next to death, with negative readings on blood tests, Full Blood Count (FBC), White cell count (WCC) Haemoglobin (Hb) and Plateletes (P) all reading "0", waiting for your BMT to begin. It wasn't much fun at all. 

But after the transplant had been delivered, watching the zeros turning into real numbers over the following days, was probably one of the better sides of everything for quite some time. 

Had the whole procedure been the success that was desired (10-15 Years, cancer free) it would have been better still.  I achieved 11 months, then underwent Radiation (for a mass of 9cm. nestled in behind my liver), which did a wonderful job, however my Gall-Bladder had become involved causing it to collapse......surgical removal under difficult circumstances followed. (Adhesions).

My recovery was slow and I was getting over the trauma of treatments and surgeries but I continued to remain positive.

Then I was knocked for six yet again with news after a routine CT Scan, that another mass of 3.5cm.,  in the lower lobe of my right lung had been detected.

Lots of options were brought up and rejected, other than more Radio.

10 cycles, front and back, were delivered and did the job perfectly.

That concluded my cancer treatment, almost 15 years ago and the story goes on and I'm still here. 

So that's where my saying of "Preserved by drugs" comes from.

Many acquaintences I have made through this site, have their own stories to tell of battles with cancers and other illnesses.

They use their personal experiences,  both good and bad, as a guide to others who call for assistance in overcoming their fear of the unknown.  This assistance is given freely. 

I wish all associated with "Patient" a Happy Healthy and safe New Year and look forward to many more interactions throughout 2017

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi John. I'm wishing you and your lovely wife a very happy and healthy New Year. You really are an inspiration to all those who are going through the trauma of being told that they are seriously ill, may you long continue to be so. Stay well, sending you both a hug x

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    • Posted

      And the same to you and yours Joy.

      Thank you for your reply and also for the hugs 😉😘

      Whilst on the subject, which we weren't but will be, how is your situation at the moment?

      Is your laser surgery going to happen, or has it happened already?

      I am keen for an update if you feel that you are ready to share.

      There seems to be some who write blogs, get a reply and disappear. Do you notice that?

      Waiting for your news.

      Cheers to you and your family.

      Lol. 🤗

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    • Posted

      Funny you should say that John, only yesterday I was wondering how a very young teenager called Sophie was getting on. She was so worried and we exchanged messages for some time, then nothing. As for me, I have to have another MRI in May, if the tumour has grown, even slightly, they might perform Gamma Knife. My neurologist was brilliant, understood perfectly why I would opt for that rather than invasive surgery, he just has to convince the MDT that I'm a suitable candidate. There's not many hospitals with the equipment, he said that if I can wait 6 months Guy's Hospital at London Bridge may be equipped. That would be excellent as it is right next to the railway station on my line - easy to get to. So I'm no longer worrying about it, before I left he patted my hand and told me not to worry, and promised he wouldn't let anything happen to me. What a lovely man, and how lucky am I to have treatment on the NHS.

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    • Posted

      I'll put a note in my diary for around my wedding anniversary to contact you for results.

      That is if I haven't heard your screams of jubilation way down here in Oz. 😆🙃

      Yes you are lucky to have NHS benefits.

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