Pre-chemo roadblocks

It’s been a week since my last post, but that’s down to the fact that nothing much has really happened. Up until a couple days ago, the 2 bits that I needed to tick off pre-chemo were the PET scan and the visit to the fertility clinic. The fact that I was constantly testing positive for covid (most recently last week) however meant that this would be delayed.

A few days ago I rang the nurses as I was concerned with an increase in fevers. The doctor then rang and let me know that, due to the positive covid result, I wouldn’t be having a PET scan. This isn’t an issue however as the original CT scan contained enough detail to start treatment. He then informed me that the fertility clinic would not allow me to visit whilst I was still covid positive.

This last part was news to me. During the call, I didn’t react strongly to this, and neither have I since. I am acutely aware however that this is bothering me deep down, and the reason I haven’t fully reacted is because I have a knack for placing heavy topics to the back of my mind and under the rug.

I therefore hope that writing this blog post will force me to focus on the issue and properly think on it. The doctor did say that there’s only a small chance that AVD chemotherapy can cause infertility, though he went on to add that the likelihood may increase if further treatment is needed.

Those words sound so final to me as I repeat them in my head, and of course my brain is currently dwelling on the worst case scenario, infertility. Although I don’t see kids in my immediate future, the thought of not being able to have them is weighing really large in my mind. I love kids. I have 2 nieces whom I love to bits and the thought of not being able to have any of my own someday is extremely saddening.

This news almost seems worse than when the doctor first told me about the possible lymphoma in my body.

I went for a PCR test yesterday and am really praying that I finally see a negative result. This would make life so much easier. If I do test positive however, I’ll have to speak to the doctor again and re-discuss.

Future plans would then be to contact the clinic myself, contact other hospital clinics or maybe even look for private options.

Thankfully treatment can safely be delayed by 2-3 weeks, so maybe that means I’ll have a few more chances at doing covid tests, but fingers crossed I won’t need it.

Failing all else, I’ll just have to proceed with the treatment and put my trust in the odds. There’s a Hunger Games line in there somewhere. Stay tuned for updates.

Peace and love,


* Featured Photo by Travis Saylor from Pexels *

A love letter to the NHS

Day 25 and I’ve finally been discharged from the hospital. I almost can’t believe I’d spent the last 25 days confined to a room without losing my mind. It also felt weird stepping out into the ward and then even further out, into the outside world. The place where germs are born.

I’ve left the hospital with a vague-ish plan of action. The 2 items to tick off pre-chemo are the PET-CT scan and the freezing of the sperms, but thanks to my constant positive Covid testing, this may be somewhat delayed. I’ll hopefully have a phone call next week with an update, so watch this space!!

I think I’ll use this post to publicly, to all 4 of you viewers, share my appreciation for the NHS, and more specifically the people that make it up. I’ve genuinely met some lovely people over the past 25 days. I’ve had chats with porters, cleaners, healthcare assistants, radiographers, nutritionists, physios, food-bringing ladies (not their official job title I’m sure), nursing students, nurses, doctors, consultants and others that have momentarily slipped my mind.

I spoke to one nurse about her upcoming marriage plans, and the struggles of telling her dad about how she met her partner, and to another about the awkwardness of not getting along with her new sister in-law. One of the cleaners showed me her Disney-OBSESSED kitchen and various tattoos. A healthcare assistant spoke to me about how she’s still playing Pokémon Go and remains the gym leader in her area after all this time. One of the physios told me about his own chemo experience as a child and reassured me that my hair would grow back nice and soft, whilst another nurse regaled me of her travels from Ethiopia to Rome to Texas and finally to the UK. The ward manager waited with me for a couple hours whilst I had my biopsy done and even the doctor kept me talking about my job to distract me from the needle entering my spleen.

I’m grateful for each and every person who took the time out of their busy day to just stand around and chat. They may have been pressed for time with other tasks, but they rarely let that show and I appreciate that.

I was fortunate to have my own room for the duration of my stay, as well as an upgrade partway through, but it was the niceness of the staff that contributed the most to a surprisingly pleasant visit. So pleasant in fact that the news that I’d be going home was almost bitter-sweet, and I’m writing this now with a touch of the post-holiday blues. I’m not sure how many people can say that they miss their stay in hospital, but I’m one of them. Either I miss the hospital or I just really miss having a bed that reclines. Who knows.

Look at that recliner bed. #Takemeback

Having said that (just in case my family read this), it is great to be back home. I certainly won’t miss the daily tummy injections (to prevent blood clots) nor the routine observations at 7 in the morning. It’s also quite nice not having any line going through my vein. By the end of my stay I had such an itch at the site of my cannula that I didn’t even mind pulling the sticker, and a tiny bit of hair, off my arm. It was, dare I say it, actually quite satisfying. I also won’t miss paying just over £30.00 for a weeks’ worth of useable wi-fi.

You’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to itch that!

So this is my love letter to the NHS, and to all those who work therein. Seeing all the staff working together like clock-work to keep everything ticking over, it’s impossible not to appreciate the NHS for the well-oiled machine it is. May that machine continue running for years and years to come.

Peace and love,