My bestfriend has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Alexis, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's little consolation but at least your grandmother is at peace. You must think of her as she was before her illness, and remember her that way.
     
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  2. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm sorry about your grandma @Edie70
     
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  3. Edie70

    Edie70 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Thank you, guys. It was such a weird situation because I found out that she had kept her illness a secret for almost five years. She visited a dermatologist back in 2014 who sent her to the surgeons with a warning that it might or might not be a cancer (there was a weird mole on her lower back and then it started bleeding and itching). The same surgeon who could have saved her life back in 2014 (she was scheduled for a surgery and then decided to lie to them about "another opinions" and ignored the whole thing which made me incredibly angry when I found out after reading some papers from the surgeon who said it was inoperable in the end).

    And @Alexis is right - I try to remember her like a vibrant, eccentric, sort of cold, distant and loud lady she used to be. She didn't really like me or my mom but we were (ironically) the ones who took excellent care of her in the end, I even cancelled all of my scheduled jobs and performances back in early January (my "celebrated" aunts live miles away and they only called when they wanted her to watch their kids or use her as their own personal ATM - both of them never really took her cancer seriously and were convinced that she would survive and things would return to normal in a few months which was selfish as hell, yet they were always the best in her eyes which is very weird when I think about it now). Things got very bad at the end.

    By the way, it really is a miracle that we can walk on our own, pee on our own, eat, talk, swallow ... and we take it for granted until it's too late.
     
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    May I ask what kind of performances?
     
  5. Edie70

    Edie70 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Yes, of course @Willie Oleson ;) mostly acting on stage in various theatres (and voice acting - dubbing) ...
     
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  6. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately I get what you mean. I was very close to my grandparents and I saw those functions being robbed from them little by little towards the end of their lives. We do take a lot of things for granted in life and we should be grateful for every single day that we are healthy.
     
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  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Sometimes people dislike you because they secretly think you're better people than themselves. So it would make some sense that you wound up being the ones who cared for her.

    Of course, I'm just theorizing.
     
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  8. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    On Wednesday my friend finally had her last chemotherapy treatment. All seems to have been going well. She didn't even need to have any blood transfusions as she was able to keep her haemoglobin levels high enough though her diet alone. She really ate properly all the way through treatment. No sugar, no fizzy drinks, no caffeine, lots of fruit and veg and fish and hardly any red meat at all. Along side the chemotherapy she also took a lot of natural/herbal based treatments and supplements too. She was lucky in that her nausea was limited despite aggressive chemo and she didn't suffer from mouth ulcers and skin breaks in her mouth and that kind of thing.

    Really I think her direct positivity has had an incredible bearing on her body. She told me she has no alternative. She has to get well, she's not doing it for herself. She's doing it for her daughter. She told me that any hint of negative thought has to be obliterated. I am immensely proud of her and how she has went through all of this and with a great attitude, a sense of humour and not let it derail her life.
    Before she had been diagnosed she had signed a lease on little 2 bedroom house for her and her daughter near the school her daughter would be going to. Like literally 2 weeks before she was told she had cancer. At that time it was obviously impossible for her to move and during treatment she went to live with her parents. A few weeks ago we went and got most of her stuff moved into her little house. And she's now moving in, her daughter starts school in September.

    She will have a scan in about a months time to see if she is cancer free. Even if she is, she knows that although her cancer is usually treatable and can be wiped out, that it can comeback. And it can return very quickly. It's a very fast growing cancer. There are a lot of check up's and scans ahead but she's completed her treatment and without complications and delays and infections.

    She's went from being about a UK size 4 at time of diagnosis to a 10. Although a fair bit of that is from the steroids she was taking during treatment. She just looks so much more healthy, despite having poison pumped into her for 6 months. Now that treatment has stopped she'll go back to her regular size 8. In a few months we're planning a little break away for her, her family and some close friends.

    For me it's all been too fast, work, hospital dates, looking after her daughter and trying to squeeze some normalcy in as well. It was the blink of an eye really. I know it was not at all like that for her.

    I just wanted to update and let you all know.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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  9. Edie70

    Edie70 Soap Chat Active Member

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    I'm very glad to hear that @Alexis! You're an excellent friend. Thanks for the update.
     
  10. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    I have put off writing this. My cousin didn't have great news after her scan. Sadly the cancer is still there, it's still in the areas it was, it's only dissipated a little. Initially they were going to do another biopsy but now they have said they aren't doing that as it's too risky with where they needed to do it. Now she's going to have more chemo sessions. This time she's going to be in hospital for about a week at a time. She goes in on Monday, and will have chemo for 3 days at a time, all day and night. Then she will have a few days recovery in hospital and then be home for 2 weeks and then repeat the cycle. After this session of chemo she will likely have a stem cell transplant too.

    This was such a kick in the balls to everyone. Especially with how positive the doctors had been. It just didn't ever seem that this would be an option. Her hair had started to grow back, she had eyebrows and was just generally so happy and positive. Trying to keep that mindset now will be tough but it's essential. This chemo is going to be gruelling, much worse than she had before. She has to have her Pic line put back in too. I will be working on the Monday and Tuesday but I'm going to go stay over at the hospital when I finish.

    I will update as and when I can.
     
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  11. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Warrior

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    Alexis, that's such a shame that the scan results didn't bring more positive news but stay strong. They clearly still think it's treatable and although the chemotherapy might be gruelling there's every reason to believe that the outcome will be successful.

    Your cousin is fortunate to have someone like you supporting her during what must be a very difficult time for her.
     
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  12. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That really sucks. Just when you thought it was over. Tell her to keep fighting she can beat this!
     
  13. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    It's been a very tough few months. Another scan showed that two new lymphoma have appeared while she was having chemotherapy. So they have stopped her chemotherapy. Originally it showed one new growth, and then when they did another scan they saw two, which meant one had appeared in only a week. The cancer is unresponsive to the chemo now. She's waiting to see if she can have a new treatment. Immunotherapy, which is new in the UK and very expensive. They have applied for the funding and are waiting to hear back. Hopefully should be approved very soon. And then they are still going to go ahead with the stem cell transplant. Hopefully in the next month or so.

    It's just gut wrenching and so hard to be so powerless like this. On top of all this, she had word today that she was turned down for PIP which is the new Disability Benefit. Someone came to her house and assessed her. She had no hair, was rail thin, and in the throws of chemo induced sickness when this person assessed her. And they decided that she did not meet the requirements for the benefit. She has never had benefits in her life. She worked from she left school, paid her taxes, and has been living since January on almost nothing, despite having a baby daughter and rent to pay. This assessor has basically said she's healthy enough to look after herself and could go to work, which is bullshit.
    At the time of the assessment my cousin told me how demeaning it was. She was asked if she could add and subtract, if she could use a microwave and boil a kettle. To bend over and touch her toes. If she could wash and dress herself. Take a bus by herself? She told the assessor she had cancer, she didn't lose her brain. I don't see how any of those things equate to someone's wellness to work. How do you work around chemotherapy schedules? How do you go to work when you are too weak to walk?
    She had worked as a Chef full time before she got cancer and those questions were just ridiculous.
    I don't understand how the Tory government can be getting away with this. She has stage 4 cancer. There is no stage 5! She's been struggling since she was diagnosed back in January.
    I'm sick to my stomach over it and I am not the one who is ill. It's just so low. Vile.
     
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  14. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This really sucks how they are already hitting on someone who is down. I mean the least they could do is give her benefits so she doesn't have to worry about work and economy and could focus all her strengh on getting well. :(
     
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  15. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Warrior

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    Alexis I'm really sorry to hear the news in your latest update, I really hope she gets the immumotherapy treatment as it has been really successful for many patients.

    Theresa May and her government are nothing short of evil. They have been cutting social security for sick and disabled people for years so they can fund the tax cuts they gave to the richest people in the UK. Hearing personal stories of the impact the Tory government's cruelty is having on the lives of real people makes me so angry.
     
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  16. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    My cousin was approved for the new therapy and started it last week. I had been struck down with a virus, this time of year working in healthcare sucks. I haven't been able to see her all week, hopefully in the next few days.
     
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  17. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Warrior

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    That's great news that she will get the new therapy. I hope it leads to a successful outcome.
     
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  18. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm glad to hear that she was aproved for the new treatment. I hope she will get well soon. You too for that matter.
     
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