Interview 148

Age at interview: 66
Age at diagnosis: 61
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2000 after finding a swelling in her chest. She had radiotherapy but a new lump appeared which was also treated with radiotherapy. Two further recurrences were treated with chemotherapy. In remission.
Background: Retired teacher, married with two adult children. Ethnic Background: Indian.

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She noticed a swelling on one side of her chest. When she showed the doctor he reassured her that nothing was wrong and sent her away. The lump continued to grow and she returned to the doctor who sent her for x-rays. From there she was referred for more tests, which showed that she had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
She had radiotherapy for three weeks, after which another lump appeared. She had more tests done and the lump was surgically removed, followed by more radiotherapy. The surgery damaged the nerves to her arm so she suffers numbness and pain which is getting worse.
She was in remission for six months but then started experiencing breathlessness, which got gradually worse. Her doctors initially suspected a lung infection but it didn't respond to treatment. Eventually she was sent for an x-ray and the radiographer said that her lung was full of fluid. Much of this was removed with a syringe and she was kept in hospital for further tests. She was then given six doses of intravenous CHOP chemotherapy, one every three weeks. At the end of the treatment most of the fluid was gone and she was in remission for two and a half years.
However, at one of her check-ups a CT scan showed two enlarged lymph nodes in her abdomen. She was started on a six month course of chemotherapy tablets (10 days on, 20 days off). During this treatment she suffered from sickness and depression which got worse with each dose. With the fourth dose the anti-sickness medication was changed as it was suspected to be causing the depression, and no further chemotherapy was given. That was six months ago and since then she has felt fine and attends for 3 monthly check-ups.



She had a lymphoma surgically removed from her chest; the operation damaged the nerves to her arm...

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She had a lymphoma surgically removed from her chest; the operation damaged the nerves to her arm...

And the operation also affected my arm and now my muscle seems to be getting numbness, pain, and some nerves got damaged here. But gradually it’s getting worse. 
And that operation left you with some nerve damage you said in your arm?
Mm, mm.
And have they said anything about sorting that out?
It can’t be sorted, they can’t do anything about it. Once the nerves are damaged they can’t do anything about it. To start with it was numbness and the pain, but now they said the muscle is decaying as well. You can see this depression here.
And it’s difficult, I don’t have the same strength in this hand, and at night my hand goes numb and painful.
So has that stopped you doing anything?
Yes, I can’t lift things, heavy things or get things out of the fridge or oven, that’s difficult for me. 
So you rely on your family and friends to help?
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