10 World famous people who lost their battles against Lymphoma
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Charles Augustus Lindbergh
Don Adams (Actor played Get Smart)
Paul Eddington (Yes minister)
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (King of Iran)
Hussein bin Talal (King of Jordan)
And one famous one that has won
Paul Allen Microsoft co-founder was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease at the age of 30 in 1983. The 64 year-old billionaire is still disease-free 34 years later.
I used the image of Ingrid Bergman because she was stunning and as I was born in 1962 I grew up watching her films.
But for me Andy Whitfield was a great loss. Andy played Spartacus in the 2010 TV series. A big strong man , fit as a fiddle. But at the end of the first season he was diagnosed with Stage 2 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma he lost his battle a year and a half later. Andy made a documentary called Be Here Now, I have not watched this yet as I know it touches on issues that I have experienced as a victim with Stage 4 Lymphoma. I was lucky in that my cancer was more responsive to chemotherapy and I was capable of taking serious levels of Chemotherapy with a few side effects. Right now 8th of July 2017 as I write this I am on my third day of B.E.A.M. an extreme level of aggressive chemotherapy making way for a Stem Cell transplant . My medical team are so confident I have to control them. But where does it end? If you Google “Famous people who have died of Lymphoma” it becomes a list of hundreds but yet how aware are we of this cancer.
When I was first diagnosed I had no idea what lymph nodes were, yes I heard of them more in relation to what women with breast cancer have removed, Hodgkins Lymphoma – I had to google it to find out about it and then I slowly realise just how dangerous this cancer is. Stats in Europe are dated most of them back to 2012. Unlike other cancers Lymphoma is a blood cancer and can move fast, it is also difficult to pinpoint, until it actually begins its attack. It’s a very clever and devious bastard, it uses the Lymph nodes connection to the immune system to set the immune system against your body. Even when it’s been hammered by chemotherapy and radiotherapy it can find a comfortable spot inside the bone marrow to hid, generally to lash out more viscously like it did with me.
Here are a few stats from America:
“This year, an estimated 8,260 people (4,650 men and 3,610 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. It is estimated that 1,070 deaths (630 men and 440 women) from this disease will occur this year”.
The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are for 2017: About 72,240 people (40,080 males and 32,160 females) will be diagnosed with NHL. This includes both adults and children. About 20,140 people will die from this cancer (11,450 males and 8,690 females).
As you can see the HLD is the rarer of the two. Unfortunately they do not go further with the stats like age groups, stages and so on. Yes you can get percentages based on stages various ages etc but they are not clearly defined.
This cancer was first diagnosed by Dr Thomas Hodgkins 1832 Guys Hospital London. 185 years ago and yet your average person has no idea about it. Maybe it’s because they called it a disease which is rubbish as it’s a cancer and as the figures above show a dangerous one. But as against an expect 232,000 newly diagnosed breast cancer cases in the US this year the big drive is to bring awareness to bigger cancers like breast cancer but Lymphoma figures are on the rise, no one knows why but cancer is going to effect 1 – 8 people worldwide this year. But in the 185 years of Hodgkins we have yet to find a cure, yes there have been serious advances primarily with aggressive chemotherapy but we really should be closer.
If you have it you have it then you need to attack it with everything you can get which includes motivation, positivity & hope. But there are some guidelines to help us
1. If a parent has died of any form of cancer be absolutely sure that siblings get regular check ups for that form of cancer
2. If a brother or sister get cancer, don’t hesitate to get the other family members tested and make those test yearly
3. If you were cured of any form of cancer and have children again insist on getting them checked yearly, these checks are generally blood test.
4. Lumps and bumps are not meant to just appear. If you suddenly find an unexplained lump get it checked out.
5. Sudden unexplained weight loss
6. Sudden unexplained fatigue
7. Waking up in the night and sweating for no reason
8. Feeling unwell for prolonged lengths of time
9. Sudden headaches
10. Unexplained bleeding I.e. Nose or ears
11. Skin rashes – wether seasonal or not.
12. Loss of appetite or feeling consistently nauseous
Most of the above cover nearly every form of blood cancer
We find it far too easy to brush off issues like the above till it’s too late.
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(Update: unfortunately the Go Fund Me account will only accept a min donation of €5).
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