Hi lovely people
As many of you will know, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma back in August 2014. Now, 18 months on, my fight with cancer is shaping up to be a marathon rather than a sprint but some good news happened two weeks ago that made us feel like we are back in the race!
My first round of R-IVE chemo has annihilated my cancer – to the point where we are getting ready for my stem cell transplant. THIS IS AMAZING! We thought it would never happen. Last week I had a further four days of chemo and provided that my next scan shows the same or better results as the first post-R-IVE scan, I’ll be having a transplant in the not too distant future. Please keep your fingers crossed for me as we’ve been here before and it hasn’t gone my way – but this time is different as we’ve never had such a great response to the chemo. So, here’s hoping that the week after the Marathon is a winner for me too.
I wanted to share my news sooner, but one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to write to you is that I lost the use of my right hand for a few weeks after a ridiculous case of cellulitis. I’d never even heard of it before (have you?) and ladies – it’s not to be confused with cellulite!
I woke up a couple of days after the first round of R-IVE chemo, feeling pretty wretched, when I noticed that my index finger on my right hand was throbbing a bit…a sore finger – just what I needed to add to the list of ailments 😉 As it was just a sore finger I didn’t think too much about it – but to be on the safe side I spoke to my amazing Clinical Nurse Specialist, Claire, who suggested I see my GP.
I left my GP appointment with some antibiotics but you can probably guess what happened next – later that night my temperature spiked above 38 degrees so we went to A&E where I was told that I had cellulitis (an infection of the deeper layers of the skin and underlying tissue on my finger). One positive from this whole episode was getting to travel in an Ambulance (lights on people!) as I was transferred from UCLH to Tooting St George’s Hospital at 3am that Tuesday morning. Big love to the Ambulance drivers who kept our spirits up with their double act.
The docs operated on my hand to remove the infection caused by the cellulitis that morning but I had a bandage the size of a tennis racket head on my hand for at least a week thus preventing any blogging! Now I’m back and on fighting form as Mr H, my brother Ric and my amazing friend Sara get ready to run the Marathon this Sunday.
I can’t believe Marathon day has come round so quick and I’m super-proud and teary-eyed at the efforts that our runners have made and all the generous donations that have been given to help us help more people in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant. Mr H did the maths the other night and at the time of typing we have raised over £24,000 which could lead to 414 people receiving a life-saving stem cell transplant – that’s just awesome!! Thanks so, so much!
So it’s all about fighting now, the guys fighting their way to the finish line and I’m on fighting form because I’ve been given a fighting chance. So if there were ever a time to donate to our cause, I’d say it’s now.
Right now, someone, somewhere in the world is getting ready to donate their stem cells to me and it’s going to save my life. I have this chance because Anthony Nolan’s stem cell register exists. I feel so humble, grateful to be here and thankful for everything that is being done to keep me alive.
Here’s a link to our Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/teams/running-for-rachael
Thanks to everyone who has donated and the amazing work you are helping Anthony Nolan to do. You’re amazing xx