BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health: Medical notes  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 17 March, 2000, 17:15 GMT
A survivor's story: Hodgkin's lymphoma
Lymphoma patients often receive radiotherapy
Many people have never heard of Hodgkin's lymphoma before someone tells them they have it.

Cancer: the facts
In fact, many have never heard of their lymphatic system - despite the vital role it plays in the body.

Sandra Davies, 42, from North Wales, ignored the most obvious symptom of Hodgkin's until a concerned relative dragged her to the doctor.

She told BBC News Online her story.

Click here to listen to Professor Peter Johnson talk about lymphomas.

"It was about the size of a golf ball," said Sandra Davies. "Absolutely protruding from my neck."

"I'd been suffering from a lot of flu and feeling down, and my father-in-law told me: 'Tell the GP about that huge lump on your neck.'"

When she eventually mentioned it, the doctor realised the seriousness immediately.
I automatically assumed: 'Oh my God, I'm going to die.'

Sandra Davies
"His face said it all - he was absolutely astounded."

An operation to remove the lump followed: "Apparently it was twice the size on the inside as it was on the outside."

The lump was analysed in a laboratory, and confirmed as cancer.

"When he said I had cancer I went completely as if I wasn't hearing what he was saying. I went in a complete world of my own."

Sandra's father had recently died of Leukaemia, and she feared the worst for herself.

She said: "I automatically assumed: 'Oh my God, I'm going to die.'"

"I was just so scared and I didn't want to ask questions, and I felt very much alone."

"I had no idea what Hodgkin's disease was - I thought it was Parkinson's disease, so I went to my GP and asked him: 'When do I begin to shake?'"

"That was the worst time because I wasn't expecting to be told I had cancer."

A scan proved that the cancer had spread beyond the lump, and a bigger operation followed to see how far.

"I'd just got engaged at the time, and the outlook was grim at the time - they'd given me three months to live at that time."
Don't do what I did and leave it - I was such a fool.

Sandra Davies
However, she responded well to the operation and 21 sessions of radiotherapy , and 15 years later she is still clear - with only one scare in the intervening years, when another lump appears.

Fortunately this one was benign.

"I've got to say that since I reached 40, that has been my turning point. I've got to say that I'm the only person who couldn't wait to get to 40!"

Her advice is not to wait like she.

"Don't do what I did and leave it - do something straight away. I was such a fool."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
sandradavies/hodgkins/mhutch
'I was given three months to live'
See also:

24 Feb 99 | Health
08 Jan 99 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more C-D stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes