Carissa's story

I'm 33 diagnosed with high grade B cell Lymphoma.


I was diagnosed June 2018 3 months after giving birth to my daughter. Firstly I put the symptoms to being a tired new mum and that my body would take longer to heal itself. Symptoms, weight loss, tired, itchy, persistent cough and night sweats. However, to the doctors I went not once but 3 times before they sent me to A&E in an ambulance. My heart was racing I was out of breath and could not stop coughing. That night at around 11pm after CT scans cannulas xrays etc. A respiratory doctor came in and said has anyone told you your results? I said no. He comes closer to the bed and sits on the end?? I close my eyes and thought ‘shit’ this isn’t going to be good. He paused for what felt like forever until I said ‘ come on, spit it out’ you’ve got lymphoma he said, a type of cancer.


The words that left my mouth were ‘Oh.. Great’! No tears no nothing. I just thought I’ve just become a member of the worst club in the world. Like my cancer buddy would say it’s like getting a Hogwarts letter... but a shit one! About 10 mins later I had this horrendous pain in my groin luckily a cardiologist came in and said to the nurses to get morphine. Once relaxed I hear the cardiologist walk off on the phone saying I have a very ill patient it needs to be done now?! I was then put in a sexy hozzy gown put on oxygen and heart monitors which was all placed on the bed as I was wheeled away. I had fluid in my chest compressing on my heart and I was described as a human lava lamp! I was wheeled into theatre but nothing was prepared so I was parked next to theatre bed and told what was going to happen while he got in his scrubs. My chest needed draining. The amount that came out was shocking! But the cough had gone. Doctor was amazing he knew he had to act fast.


I’ve had 8 rounds of R-Chop chemotherapy, 2 rounds of IVAC chemotherapy, the new CAR-T therapy that’s hit the news but none has kept me in remission. I’m now to date I’m on a chemo pill which I call the ‘magic pill’ which I’m due to start my second round Friday. I was classed as terminal July last year. I was told that after CAR-T failed that no more could be done for me at a different hospital. I demanded I be transferred to my original hospital were my consultant is who has suggested this ‘magic pill’ I’ve changed my eating habits. Less sugar and processed rubbish and most importantly remained positive. Doctors are arseholes and talk to you like you don’t matter and to give up, but we DO matter. If I wasn’t so positive I might not of got this pill.


Even though I’m still fighting I want people to know to never give up on yourself! There is a lot more to this story as I’ve been fighting for 2 years in June but my strongest weapon against cancer is my daughter. I want to watch her grow up!




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