No doubt that having any cancer diagnosis is life changing, and when I received my diagnosis of Hodgkins Lymphoma 12 years ago I didn’t realise how much it would change. I thought I would be able to return to my old life once treatment finished, but I never regained my old fitness, was unable to return to work because of long-term effects, and never returned to my music activities because of back pain.
On World Lymphoma Day it is worth assessing the good things that have come from my illness. I know that most of my friendships are much stronger, and I now have my Bloodwise and McMillan friends too. I have been able to admire changes in scenery while travelling by train through Europe, as I can no longer fly. Because of my enforced early retirement I am able to meet older friends for lunch (very rarely go out late now) and volunteer for Bloodwise, which has almost given me a new career!
The biggest bonus was that when my daughter gave birth, first to my grandson, then two years later to my granddaughter, I was able to spend a couple of days a week helping with childcare, going to playgroups, the park, musical picnics at Birmingham Symphony Hall and treating them to the occasional lunch out. Now they are at school we don’t see them as much, but have an amazingly close relationship. I often get Whats App voice messages from my granddaughter telling me of something special she has done at school.
How has life after treatment changed your life? Has it led to a new career, a new hobby, a house move? It would be interesting to hear some stories.