Lymphatic Cancer – How Much Do You Know?

Lymphatic Cancer - How Much Do You Know?

Eleven years ago we had the news that everyone dreads. Eleven years ago, my Mum got diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I had never heard of it and had no idea that it was a type Cancer. I did a lot of research in those following weeks and it’s now, all these years later that I am in a position, through this blog, to be able to spread the word. So here I am.

This week is Lymphatic Cancer Awareness Week, so what better time to be writing this post? What better time to contribute some of my time and energy into making others aware of Lymphatic Cancer?

I am no expert. I just know what we have lived with for the last eleven years and what we will continue to live with for the foreseeable future.

Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma are types of blood cancer. There are many different sorts and to be honest, it would be too much to go into here on this post. For all of that kind of information, I would urge you to check out the Lymphoma Association website, where there is a wealth of information available. I have also included a video at the bottom of this blog, courtesy of the Lymphoma Associaton, should you want to understand it a bit better.

Mum’s Story

My Mum was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma which is is a cancer of the lymphatic system. It develops from the white blood cells in your body that fight infection This type of lymphoma usually grows very slowly. It is difficult to cure but is usually kept under control for many years with treatment needed only from time-to-time.

Currently, there is no cure for Follicular Lymphoma. Mum was on a ‘watch and wait’ programme for nine years before it developed into Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. This is an aggressive type of Lymphoma that requires urgent attention in the form of chemotherapy.

Despite living with the knowledge that this could happen for nine years, when we did eventually get the news that Mum’s Lymphoma had transformed, it didn’t make it any easier to accept. It felt like we had been walking a tightrope for the best part of ten years. We’d had wobbles and worries along the way and then we finally fell off. Into a sea of chemotherapy and hair-loss.

Mum was a trooper throughout her treatment. Seeing her lose her hair was the hardest thing I have ever seen and the day she had the remainder shaved off, stays with me. I was so proud of her that day. Her hair means everything to her and to see her go through that is indescribable. It’s when the hair went that it kind of sunk in. It was really happening.

Mum had several rounds of chemo and as you can imagine, was very, very poorly. Thankfully by the end of the course, we found out that it had worked. The pesky B-Cell Lymphoma had been shrunk. She continued to have a maintenance treatment every two months for two years, this is to keep the Follicular Lymphoma at bay and reduce the chance of a relapse. Mum has just had her last maintenance treatment. It doesn’t stop there though.

All of this treatment has left Mum with a very poor immune system and what could be the most annoying of viruses to you and I can still make her really poorly. She has been on so many antibiotics this year for one thing and another. It’s things like this that you aren’t prepared for. But that’s not all.

The hardest thing to accept is that Mum’s Follicular Lymphoma won’t go away. She has to live with that knowledge every single day. As do we. We don’t know if we will be going through this again in the next year, two years, three years or five years. Or if we ever will again! We just don’t know.  We are back on that tightrope, not knowing if we will fall off again.

 

The following information is taken from the Lymphoma Association website.

Lymphatic Cancer – The Facts

  • Every 28 minutes someone is diagnosed with lymphoma*. That’s around 19,000 people every year.
  • It is the UK’s fifth most common cancer.
  • Around 125,000 people are living with lymphoma.
  • Lymphoma is most prevalent in people over the age of 55 but is also the most frequently diagnosed cancer among younger people.
  • There are no known causes.
  • It is a complex disease. There are two main types of lymphoma – non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma and many different forms (aggressive and chronic), which makes diagnosis and treatment difficult.
  • Symptoms include a lump in the neck, armpit or groin; feeling worn-out for no reason, unexplained weight loss, excessive sweating at night, constant itching for no reason.

*Includes Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and CLL. 

Lymphatic Cancer – The Symptoms

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sweats
  • Itching

Obviously, it goes without saying that if you have these symptoms, you may not necessarily have Lymphoma. But you should always go and see your GP as soon as you have any concerns.

It’s also worth mentioning that there is always help available for anyone affected by cancer, in the form of a counsellor or a therapist. You don’t even need to leave home to access one these days. Take a look at this link for further information https://www.betterhelp.com/.

 

 

New drugs are being trialled and developed every day within cancer research and our doctors do an amazing job treating and looking after patients. I’ll be eternally grateful to my Mum’s specialists who keep a close eye on her with regular appointments and frequent blood tests.

 

Please, share this blog post on your social media and with your family and friends. Wherever you can. Help raise awareness for a Cancer that is more common than I ever realised and one that is very complex and difficult to understand. Thank you.

 

Do you know anyone that has or has had a type of Lymphatic Cancer? Let me know in the comments.

 

*Credit goes to the Lymphoma Association for the facts stated in this post.

 

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45 Comment

  1. Reply
    Twin Mum/Dad: Emily (@Twinmumanddad)
    15th September 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. I don’t know anyone who’s had lymphatic cancer, but my mum had ovarian cancer. Sadly she passed away in 2005. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      15th September 2017 at 12:46 pm

      So sorry to hear about your Mum. It’s such an awful disease. X

  2. Reply
    The Pramshed
    15th September 2017 at 12:53 pm

    So sorry to read this about your Mum, I can see how from reading your post how much of a tightrope you are walking on. It’s great that you’re Mum is better now, and hopefully will keep getting better with medical advances. Claire x #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      17th September 2017 at 8:45 am

      I do hope so. Thank you for reading 🙂

  3. Reply
    Becki TheMumFromBrum (@_mumbrum)
    15th September 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I’m sorry your Mum, and your whole family, is having to cope with this. Cancer is so cruel. Really informative post though, and I hope it helps someone catch it early. #blogstravaganza

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      17th September 2017 at 8:44 am

      I hope so too! Thank you 🙂

  4. Reply
    RawMum
    15th September 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for all the information and the personal story. I’m sorry you have to live with this horrible black cloud over your head. Best wishes #pocolo

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      17th September 2017 at 8:43 am

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  5. Reply
    thetaleofmummyhood
    15th September 2017 at 6:09 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I think it’s great that you have written this post and are raising awareness though xx Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      17th September 2017 at 8:42 am

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  6. Reply
    Jo - Pickle & Poppet
    15th September 2017 at 9:23 pm

    I didn’t really know anything about this type of cancer so thank you for sharing #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      17th September 2017 at 8:41 am

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  7. Reply
    diynige
    17th September 2017 at 8:06 pm

    So sorry to hear about your mum really informative read I learnt so much Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      17th September 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you for reading and sharing – it all helps! And thanks for hosting 🙂

  8. Reply
    mackenzieglanville
    19th September 2017 at 4:11 am

    I am so sorry to read this, but also so proud of you sharing this and raising awareness! I will be sharing on social media for sure! I hope you are ok and your mum is remaining well. I have a close friend who is married to my cousin and their teenage daughter has a version of this also, she has been in and out of hospital with treatment for the past two years, it is just awful on her and her appearance and her little sister. My mum has Parkinson disease and it is also just a waiting game, we try to not focus on what will eventually happen to her. Cancer is so awful, my father in law has cancer too, but bowel, he has already defied the odds and is still living well even though they said he would be gone by now, so keep faith. Sending huge love your way! #mg

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      19th September 2017 at 11:03 am

      Thank you for your kind words. It is hard but you just have to carry on going and try to remain positive! New medicines are being trialled every day so to keep everything crossed a cure is found. I hope your friends and family remain as healthy as possible. Thank you for sharing. X

  9. Reply
    passion fruit, paws and peonies
    19th September 2017 at 8:05 am

    This is truly heart breaking. My Aunt was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and so I can begin to understand the stress it brings as the journey goes on. Your mum sounds amazing. Thank you for having the courage to share this, it’s been very informative and interesting. Sending you a big hug x #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      28th September 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you lovely. Kind words like yours help immensely. I hope your Aunt is okay. X

  10. Reply
    Cancer Treatment
    19th September 2017 at 11:07 am

    Hi Jaki. So sorry about that. By the way Great article. LOVE is the most powerful medicine of all sickness.One way on how to treat Pancreatic cancer is Surgery. Do you agree?

  11. Reply
    bespokebuckley
    19th September 2017 at 1:01 pm

    So sorry to hear about your mum but thank you for sharing your story. There’s so much that people don’t know and hopefully they can learn from your post xx

    #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      20th September 2017 at 10:14 am

      I do hope so! Thanks for your kind words. xx

  12. Reply
    So Happy In Town (@SoHappyInTown)
    19th September 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I can only imagine the tough painful journey your family has all been on for the past 10 years, as we went through a similar thing when my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when i was in my 20’s. Luckily, like your mum, she is OK but it never leaves you, and you are obviously still living on a tightrope. Thx for sharing – it must have been hard but so good to raise awaresness. #twinklytuesday

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      20th September 2017 at 10:17 am

      Thank you. I hope your Mum continues to remain well. X

  13. Reply
    Crystal (@BusyMomDiary1)
    19th September 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lymphoma two years ago. This post is full of information that many people just don’t know. Thank you so much for posting this. #TriumphantTales;

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      20th September 2017 at 10:14 am

      I am so sorry to hear about your husband, how is he doing? It does seem to be a type that a lot of people are unaware of. Hopefully, we can change that with posts like these.

  14. Reply
    mamagrace
    19th September 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Sorry to hear your family is going through this. i’m glad for the battles fought and hope process is being made with science of the future. #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      20th September 2017 at 10:12 am

      Thank you, me too!

  15. Reply
    Su (ethannevelyn.com)
    19th September 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you for such an informative post. I’m so sorry that you family have had to go through this.

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      20th September 2017 at 10:10 am

      Thank you. And thank you for sharing.

  16. Reply
    mebeingmummy
    19th September 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with the #HoneybeeLinky – it is so great that you are raising awareness for this disease and I hope your mum and your family don’t have to face any of this again for a very long time, if ever! Hope to see you again next week 🙂 xxx

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      20th September 2017 at 10:06 am

      Thanks so much. Thanks for hosting. x

  17. Reply
    mummyhereandthere
    20th September 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your mum’s story, you both sound incredibly brave, thank you for sharing such important information X #twinklytuesdsay

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      20th September 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you and thank you for sharing.

  18. Reply
    phoenixrobinsonblog
    21st September 2017 at 12:53 pm

    So sorry to hear about your mum. Thanks for sharing your story x

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      23rd September 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you.

  19. Reply
    Mom Of Two Little Girls
    21st September 2017 at 6:44 pm

    So sorry to read about this. My mom has a blood problem which unfortunately we expect to eventually develop into some kind of blood cancer. I can’t deal with it now. I don’t want to deal with it then.
    Yes, I’m an ostrich!
    #blogstravaganza

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      23rd September 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Bless you. So sorry to hear this. It’s never easy dealing with a horrible diagnosis. I hope she remains well for as long as possible. Keep strong. xx

  20. Reply
    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    21st September 2017 at 10:31 pm

    I had no idea of the symptoms of lymphatic cancer, thanks for raising awareness #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      23rd September 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  21. Reply
    Alana - Burnished Chaos
    22nd September 2017 at 4:12 pm

    It’s so great that you are helping raise awareness, it’s one of the less well known ones but affects so many people. Our friend’s father dies from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and my husbands auntie was diagnosed with it 7 years ago. Thankfully the chemo worked for her and she was recently given the all clear, although she will still need check-ups for the rest of her life.
    Thank you for linking this with #FamilyFunLinky

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      23rd September 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you for sharing it too. It’s actually refreshing to come across someone who has heard of it, I meet so many that aren’t.

  22. Reply
    chickenruby
    27th September 2017 at 2:13 pm

    it sounds like your mum and family have dealt with this very positively, although it must’ve been very stressful for the 9 years and throughout the treatment #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      27th September 2017 at 9:25 pm

      It was and it still is really. We just have to remain positive, it’s the only way! Thank you.

  23. Reply
    Lisa Pomerantz
    28th September 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Oh Jaki, I am so sorry for all of you for having to go through this – and thank you so much for having the wherewithal to teach us the warning signs. Cancer is so very cruel. Stay positive. Sending warm wishes and healing thoughts for you all! #Triumphanttales xoxo

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      28th September 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you Lisa, your kind words mean a great deal. xx

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