Remission 2016

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“We left the hospital and on the way out the door I looked at Anita and said you know what they just told us, she said yes. I clearly remember saying “well he is wrong”

That was the 15th December 2014; I had just been given 6 to 8 weeks to live.

I have promised time and time again to write up what happened between the times when I was recovering from ABVD and Radiotherapy all the way up to been first placed in remission in Feb 2016. But I have never really managed to complete this section of the blog. The difficulty is because there are months and months of waiting for results and meetings. For cancer victims the difficult part psychologically is the waiting and not knowing.

In Hodgkins Lymphoma treatment like ABVD is spread over 6 to 8 months, but when completed the patient will have to wait nearly 2 months to get the first deciding scan. If the scan is clear they may be placed in Remission (this is especially done with early stage Lymphoma, like Stage 1 and  Stage 2, stage 3 are monitored for more time but with Stage 4 the test can be extensive)

  • Diagnosed 14th Feb 2014 Hodgkins Lymphoma stage 4
  • Biopsy to right neck Feb 2014
  • Bone marrow & Lumbar punch March 2014
  • P.E.T. Scan March 2014 (P.E.T. Number 1)
  • Chemotherapy ABVD Commenced 13th March 2014 Ended 14th August 2014
  • P.E.T. Scan April 2014 (P.E.T. Number 2)
  • Declared Chemotherapy Steroid induced Diabetes Type 2 May 2014
  • June 2014 Bleomycin (The B from ABVD) attacked my right lung
  • P.E.T. Scan Oct 2014 (P.E.T. Number 3)
  • Radiotherapy @ 40gml Grey to right side neck Nov 2014 to Dec 2014
  • Given 6 weeks to live following Radiotherapy Dec 2014
  • Ultrasound Fine needle aspiration March 2015
  • P.E.T. Scan May 2015 (P.E.T. Number 4)
  • Tonsillectomy & Biopsies to throat July 2015
  • P.E.T. Scan Oct 2015 (P.E.T. Number 5)
  • Oct 2015 Partial Remission (Cancer cells present but not active)
  • Diabetes Type 2 Cleared
  • Full Remission Feb 2016  
  • P.E.T. Scan May 2016 (P.E.T. Number 6)
  • Biopsies to throat & base of tongue July 2016 
  • P.E.T. Scan Oct 2016 (P.E.T. Number 7)
  • Suspected Kidney failure Nov 2017 & new Lymphoma site to middle spine
  • Biopsy to lower spine Lymph Nodes Feb 2017
  • P.E.T. Scan March 2017 (P.E.T. Number 8)
  • Declared relapse both HLD & NHL urgent  rescue procedures required
  • ICE Chemotherapy April to May 2017 
  • P.E.T. Scan May 2017 (P.E.T. Number 9)
  • Stem Cell Harvest June 2017
  • BEAM Chemotherapy July 2017
  • Stem Cell Transplant July 2017
  • P.E.T. Scan Oct 2017 (P.E.T. Number 10) First Clear scan
  • Partial remission Nov 2017 (No cancer cells but recovery)
  • Multiple test and scans including bone density Jan 2018 to March 2018
  • Full Remission March 2018

PET Scans, CT Scans, biopsies, blood test, heart scans and so much more over the years and finally Remission

Full Remission Feb 2016  


On the first week of Feb 2016 I went in and had the CT Scan followed the next day by blood tests. On the 12th of Feb 2016 I met with the oncologist. Two years since diagnosed, fourteen months since I was declared terminal and there I was waiting to find out what was next. I was surprised when the Oncologist told me that I was now formally in full remission. He explained that he would see me four times a year for the following five years and if all went well I would be declared cancer free. I have to be honest and say I was in shock. Anita was actually with me at this meeting and I just looked at her and smiled. I had beaten Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma 

Next appointment was set up for 3 months later. May 2016


Now most of this blog I have refrained from mentioning my Mum. My mother was born in January 1932 – in 2016 she was 84. January 2016 was not a good month for her, she had caught a bad flu and following that she had taken a severe fall. The fall was “unexplained” and the hospital in Dublin classed it as a blackout. In Feb she was absolute delighted with my news. But she had a second fall, this time it caused extensive bruising to her head and face.  I am quite good with electronics and had installed both an alarm system and CCTV to the house. The CCTV was external only and allowed her to check the to see if or who was at the door. I got her approval to place in 3 extra cameras inside the house, one on the landing, one in the hall and the other in the kitchen. In April 2016 she suffered another fall, this one was caught on camera. This was a bad fall, it happened at 3am. We had panic buttons but it took her 3 hours to press the button. She hit her head so bad that she had no idea what was happening. I was first call by the response monitoring company and I had full online access to the cameras. I went online and saw my mum sitting on the kitchen floor unable to move. We called the ambulance service and guided them into the house (we had drop keys in place and great neighbours) I live 170 mile from my Mum’s home so basically once she was in the care of the hospital I headed to Dublin. That was April 2016 , in May she was declared as having mid stage Vascular Dementia and placed into 24/7 care, by August she was in a specialised home she never left hospital again  and passed away peacefully on the 9th of April 2018 – She never knew what happened to me medically from May 2016 as we decided that what lay ahead would be too difficult for her to handle. Its my Mum’s side of the family that I get my fight genes from.

Many believe we have been given signs that our relatives & loved ones are still around and, in the spiritual community, Robins are viewed as symbols of visits from the dead. I have an absolute belief in this and throughout the time following my Mum’s passing I have been greeted, tweaked at, followed and watched by Robin’s. They are a stunning bird and need to be protected.


 Diagnoses March 2017: Relapse 


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