Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed in 2005 following diarrhoea and swollen lymph glands in her neck. Treated with chemotherapy and rituximab. A new tumour was discovered immediately after being told she was in remission.
Her symptoms were persistent swollen lymph glands in her neck and diarrhoea. Her GP referred her to hospital for tests, and after several months, the biopsy results revealed low grade follicular non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
She found out about a clinical trial of rituximab and asked to join it. The local hospital was not participating in the trial so she chose to be referred to a hospital in another city. There she was advised that she was unsuitable for the trial but that she could be treated with chemotherapy and rituximab (R-CVP) if she moved to that city, so she rented a flat temporarily.
She had a much better relationship with the consultant at the teaching hospital and felt much more supported by staff at this hospital than she had at her local hospital.
Her local hospital had given her a month’s course of chlorambucil chemotherapy tablets, which she completed before starting on the R-CVP, which was administered via a PICC line. A bad reaction to the first treatment resulted in a hospital stay, during which time her husband had to stay away as he had developed bronchitis. On discharge she relied on a friend of a friend to stock the flat with food and the clean linen that she had been advised was necessary to avoid infection.
After eight treatment sessions she was told she was in unconfirmed complete remission. However, later that week she felt feverish and was admitted to her local hospital. Paracetamol reduced her temperature so she was discharged. Two days later the fever recurred so she was readmitted. A new scan showed a tumour between her lungs. She is awaiting an endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy to confirm what type of lymphoma it is, and is expecting to receive more chemotherapy and possibly a stem cell transplant.