Well put, TJ, and very true. Fortunately these days there's a lot of psychological as well as medical support around for cancer sufferers, and I believe too that there are now drugs which can help alleviate the worst side-effects of chemo.
I sincerely hope that your niece is getting all the help she can. I know she is getting it from you, and probably from friends and other family members as well, but outside support is needed too.
I've no idea where your niece lives, but I wonder if she has heard of Maggie's Centres? These Centres, the first of which was opened in Edinburgh in 1996, are a network of drop-in centres in Great Britain, which aim to help anyone who has been affected by cancer. They are not intended as a replacement for conventional cancer therapy, but as a caring environment that can provide support, information and practical advice. They are located nearby, but are separate from, existing NHS hospitals. In addition, there is also now an free online Centre. I've heard nothing but praise from those who have used them, especially the chance they give them to share experiences with other cancer sufferer. For full information - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie's_Centres
Hi Aileen and all,
Thanks for your kind words about my niece. She is, thank goodness, hopefully on the road to recovery now. She's finished her chemo and starts radiotherapy next month, but hopefully, once that is done, she will be able to begin putting it all behind her and moving forward. I do hope so.
I will tell my niece about the Maggie's Centre's. We're in Worcester, so even if it isn't around locally it should be on the net. I'd never heard of them.
The worst of it with my niece is that her aunt on the other side of the family, her Mum's side, was diagnosed just prior to my niece and didn't come through. Her cancer was horribly aggressive and just couldn't be stopped. I'm sure it would do my niece good to talk to someone about all that, as much as her own situation, so I will let her know what you have told me, thanks.
Going back to Ross Hutchins, I was reading an article about him on the text service on Sky (I think) this morning. He begins his chemotherapy today, so I do wish him well with that. Also, in the article he was explaining the circumstances in which his Lymphoma was discovered. I've not yet looked for the article on the net, but I'll try to summarise. He explained that he'd been getting some back pain and they were looking into the possibility of a problem with his kidneys. When tests on his kidneys came back clear they investigated his chest, he was found to have pneumonia and his specialist discovered that one of the lymph glands in his chest, near his heart, was enlarged. When Ross asked what the problem could be he was told that it could be an infection, or it could be a lymphoma. Ross said there was something in the specialist's voice, he knew she believed it was a lymphoma. Anyway, he had a biopsy and had to wait for the results - that must have been so tough - and was told just a couple of days after Christmas that he has Hodgkins Lymphoma.
I have to say that I found the article very moving. It seems unimaginable to me that something that was manifesting as a back problem could have turned out to be cancer, especially in a young, fit man. Then again, I'm reminded of my niece. Her lump was dismissed initially as 'probably hormones'. I'm just so glad for Ross that his specialist appears to have been on the ball, so to speak.
Ross also goes on to talk a bit about what the time in between getting the diagnosis and doing something about the problem has been like. Understandably, it does sound like he has had some tough times, but again, he concludes by sounding positive and talking about wanting to be back playing again as soon as he is able.