My journey with Hodgkins Lymphoma

Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in Decemeber 2019. I will be finished treatment on the 26th June. I just wanted to let yous all know that I have wrote a blog and add new content to it regularly on my journey and how I have got through it and coped with it all if yous ever want to have a read and to know you can message me any time if you just want a chat. I cant believe I have had cancer and having support from others who have gone through it too I think is a really big thing and I hope to help others like others have helped me.
My blog is rachaelvkenny.webnode.co.uk

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Wow, Rachel, what a brilliantly produced blog. I loved the heart shape on the front page and then I was so impressed with the separate headers, it made the blog so readable. Thanks so, so much I am sure it will inform and help so many others. You especially described your fertility dilemmas so poignantly. Weirdly so many of us were diagnosed during December (me 16 December) just coming up to what appears in the media as happy families celebrating round a log fire.
A great big welcome to our forum, I am sure all your contributions will hopefully be therapeutic for you and so helpful to others. We are all here to support you as well and you can also contact the wonderful Blood Cancer UK Support Services Team on 0808 2080 888 10am-7pm Monday-Friday or via email at support@bloodcancer.org.uk if you feel the need.
I found that I was on a fearful, anxious rollercoaster from symptoms appearing, till diagnosis and beyond. When the activity side slowed down then the emotional side really hit me. I would be interested in hearing more about your emotional process now through isolation, as you might have read on our forum some of us have gone through a bit of a rollercoaster hitting an emotional low a few weeks back. Also do you have support from family, friends and perhaps work?

Hi @rachaelvkenny. I was diagnosed with NSHL in 2007 after 11 months of blood tests, ECGs, echocardiograms and a major operation. My story will not be your story. I was 51 at the time, and had a very unusual presentation, and a very aggressive form of the disease. Eventually I had my own stem cells harvested and then transplanted, and a course of RT afterwards. I am now eleven years in remission. You may like to have a look at the section on recovering after cancer treatment. It can take time, and you will probably find ‘a new normal’. You will have bad days and good days, and eventually you will realise that the bad days are not occurring as often. Best wishes for your recovery

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That’s an amazing thing to do and to share with everyone. I wrote a book about my experiences and turned into a sort of autobiography comparing me before and after but I haven’t let anyone read it yet as it’s so deeply personal and I’m not sure how they’ll react. It’s great that you want to share your experiences and help other people going through the same thing.

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It is such a personal thing as to whether we share all or some of our stories. Some people find it cathartic to write down their thoughts, like a diary, but don’t want/need to share. Do you feel that you will be judged by what you have written, or that some will not like what you have written as it involves their reactions to your illness?

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I don’t think I’m concerned about what I’ve written in relation to my illness as I think most people came out of that quite well (except for my medical team!). It’s more the earlier life stuff which has thrown up quite a few thorny issues from my past which I guess needed to be addressed and this has given me the opportunity of doing. Quite a few people wouldn’t like what I have written about them or myself from earlier events. There are quite a few entertaining travel tales though that I think a lot of people would enjoy :slight_smile:

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I think many of us may have issues from our past. Do you feel that you still need to air those issues, or was it enough to write down your feelings?
Perhaps you might like to rewrite part of your book, leaving out the sensitive sections, which you could then distribute. All the best in moving forward

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I’m happy to leave it in as it would be a more honest piece of writing and it did do me some good to write it down. I’m not really looking to get it published as such. I might leave it to a trusted friend in my will :slight_smile:

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