Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on his spine in 2001 after he experienced middle back pain resulting in paralysis. Radiotherapy treatment put him into remission but it took 2 years for him to regain full mobility.
He experienced six weeks of middle back pain and consulted various health professionals to find out its cause. It was originally suspected that his symptoms were related to his history of lower back problems. Meanwhile he tried various pain killing drugs, plus arnica, hot water bottles and ice. It was difficult to settle in a comfortable position and his only release from pain was to pace about.
He travelled from his new home in Wales to where he used to live in England to see his usual chiropracter, and arranged to stay with friends for a couple of nights. The chiropractor considered his problem to be medical rather than musculo-skeletal and recommended he go to A&E, which he did, but the hospital doctors considered it a musculo-skeletal problem.
About two days later his legs buckled under him and he became incontinent so his friends called out a GP who admitted him to the local spinal unit. MRI scans revealed a tumour that was touching his spine. A biopsy showed it to be a low grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was immediately started on 13 sessions of radiotherapy over 3 weeks. He remained in hospital until he regained control of his bladder and bowels, which took several weeks.
The friends with whom he had stayed temporarily offered to put him up for a few weeks while he recovered, and he ended up staying 5 years. He never returned to his part time job or to the house he had rented in Wales. He had physiotherapy for about 18 months during which time he learned to walk again. He was paralysed from T10 for 2 months, then in a wheelchair for a year, then walked with crutches or sticks for a further year. His lymphoma is in remission.