Hello to The Big C

So after spending a few days in ICU – fave hospital stay I’ve had. The nurses made me feel comfortable in a nightmare. A doctor came to visit me, he was a haematology doctor from the hospital at The Churchill and I remember feeling really scared to meet him, because he was from The Churchill. The Cancer Hospital.

He told me that it’s most likely lymphoma, and that they know the tumour is steroid responsive, so they didn’t waste a minute and they took a chance and started me on steroids before I’d even had my biopsy results. I was relieved because I knew from the experience I had with steroids when I took them for misdiagnosed asthma, that they would help.

The next few days I spent waiting for a room at The Churchill, while still at the JR. I was nervous to go to the new hospital because previously I’ve had a good experience at the JR, and I trusted the JR and the nurses here. But finally I was transported to the new place, where I would wait for my biopsy results.

I remember walking into the room and thinking, this is really strange… my room had a fridge in, and next door was a room with cupboards full of food and a tv, and opposite me was a rooftop garden, strange but nice. My boyfriend stayed with me that night, so he experienced the change with me, made me feel less scared.

The day had arrived, doctors and nurses gathered in my room and my doctor sat down and he was confident and thorough, I really liked him.

“So Nicole, we have your biopsy results. We can confirm it is lymphoma, non-hodgkins. There are over 150 different types of non-hodgkins lymphoma and the one you have is called primary mediastinal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.”

Try saying that really fast.

Anyway, he continued to tell me that lymphoma is really responsive to a chemotherapy called RCHOP. And that’s the chemotherapy I was going to have. He also told me, if you were going to have cancer, lymphoma would be the one you want. Imagine wishing for a cancer.

To be honest, I was happy there was something they could do. It confirmed I wasn’t going crazy, and my anxiety hadn’t gone out of control. I had cancer. It explained all my symptoms.

And The Churchill became my second home.

Primary mediastinal diffuse large B cell lymphoma means that the mass is in my chest and it doesn’t look like a ball of cells, it’s more spread out. A bit like a paint splat.

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