Was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003 after 2-3 years of occasional abdominal pain. Treated with CHOP chemotherapy and rituximab. In remission but suffers from lymphoedema.
For 2 or 3 years he experienced occasional abdominal pain. Nothing his GP tried helped, nor did acupuncture. Eventually he asked to see a specialist and went private to avoid a long wait. He saw a gastroenterologist who suspected bowel cancer but test results were normal. The symptoms worsened and he developed backache. His GP detected an unusual heart rythmn so referred him to a cardiologist, who found nothing wrong but suggested a blockage. Further tests at a private hospital revealed enlarged abdominal lymph glands possibly caused by lymphoma.
He was quickly admitted to the haematology department at the local NHS hospital. A biopsy of his abdominal lymph glands was scheduled but eventually done on a swollen lymph gland in his neck instead. He also had a stent inserted in his ureter as his tumour was putting pressure on it. It was also suggested that he might have testicular cancer but that was proved wrong. The growing tumour caused him considerable pain in his abdomen and legs, affecting his mobility.
The definitive diagnosis was high grade, large diffuse B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and he was immediately started on a course of six sessions of CHOP chemotherapy with rituximab. After the fifth treatment his stem cells were harvested in case he needed a transplant in future. After treatment some of his lymph nodes were still slightly enlarged but a PET scan showed it to be scar tissue.
Although his lymphoma is in remission, during treatment he developed lymphoedema in his left leg and still has to wear a compression stocking, take plenty of exercise and have periodic physiotherapy.