Happy Birthday MCL

Yesterday evening I started my Rituximab through my drip ( no further
upgrades to Ivy ). I was able to have this at a faster rate than
before because I didn't have any adverse reactions. By 20:30 that was
all done so I could be disconnected from Ivy for the night.

I also had my dexamthasone steroid but instead of 20 x 2mg tablets to
swallow it was given as an injection into my line. A much easier way
to have it, whilst I am in hospital anyway.

It was exactly one year ago today that I got my diagnosis of Mantle
Cell Lymphoma. I'd had the biopsy on 21st May and went to the
Birmingham Treatment Centre at City Hospital to see the ENT consultant
who had done the biopsy, or rather one of her team.

I'd always known that an underlying lyphoma could be the cause but it
had been played down (probably because of my age).

The registrar I saw checked my biopsy scar asked a few questions about
how I was and then opened my notes and said something along the lines
of "I'm afraid it's not good news. The results show you have lymphoma,
we're going to refer you to a haematologist"

As you can imagine I was a little taken aback but I didn't really feel
that emotional as it were. Maybe it was the direct way the information
was delivered. I asked if the was any details as to the stage the
disease was but all the registrar could tell me was that it was in the
Mantle Cells.

I was told I should get a haematology appointment with in 2 weeks and
I was given a form to have some blood tests.

I guess I was in there for about 15 minutes maximum. If I was feeling
uncharitable I could say it was a bit like "This is ENT, we don't do
cancer. Our work here is done." In fairness the registrar asked if I
had any more questions but I could tell most would have to be answered
by haematology.

There was a nurse with him who pointed to the long queue for blood
tests and said I could try in the morning if I didn't fancy the wait.

Contrast that experience ( at the same hospital ) with my Dad's colon
cancer diagnosis where we saw the surgeon and a Macmillan nurse. We
were given leaflets and a number to call of his key worker for anymore
questions. A much better way to handle it over all I think even though
I coped ok.

I decided to come back the next day for bloods because otherwise I
would have to ring Mom and Dad to explain the delay.

Looking back I think a little bit of shock kicked in at this point or
maybe it was because I was busy thinking about lots of other things
but I remember it took me about half and hour to get out the car park
as I walked to the car then remembered I needed to pay for my ticket,
I found the machine walked there then walked back to the car but still
hadn't actually validated the ticket so had to walk back.

Anyway I got it sorted and headed over to Mom and Dad's to tell them
the news. That was the hardest part in those first few days telling my
nearest and dearest and watching ( or listening over the phone) as
they dealt with it.

Enough reminiscing for now. Breakfast has arrived on the ward!




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