Laura's Non Hodgkins Lymphoma story

Updated: Jun 29

I got diagnosed in October 2018 at my GP after months of coughing and loosing a lot of weight, then I had my biopsy which had shown that I had NHL (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) well the full diagnosis is actually Diffuse Large B-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.


Not long after this I had started chemotherapy, which was awful to say the least. Then I got a Hickmann-Line fitted in my chest. Everything was going really well except my tumour didn’t shrunk it started growing, I got transferred from Hospital to Hospital and then ended up in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, well at this stage I was not well I started getting breathless (much more so than before) and on the 31st of December 2018 when we were celebrating New Years eve I became really unwell, so much so that the next day (01-01-2019) my parents had to rush me to the QE where they didn’t think that the problem was as big as it really was.


Well I got a bed up on YPU (Young Persons Unit) and they did a bunch of tests but I was becoming more and more breathless which they thought I was heaving a panic attack they put me on oxygen but that didn’t help, all I remember from that night/dawn is that I was crying/screaming/panicking as I couldn’t breathe and them trying to calm me down, initially they asked me if I wanted them to call my parents I said no I’m a big girl I’m gonna be okay... well the next thing I remember is waking up in a weird quiet empty room with a tube showed down my throat... that was 14 days later on Intensive Care.


On the 2nd of January 2019 I died.


My heart has stopped for about half an hour. Me not being able to breathe was actually the fluids on my chest squishing my heart and lungs and initially my body gave up. The doctors were on their way up because they had just recited my scans and they were coming to put an emergency drain in my chest to drain the fluids but they were a little too late, as they got up to the ward instead of just putting a drain in they had to manually restart my heart while putting a drain in. Eventually they had to use a defibrillator to shock my heart and restart it.


While all this was going on they had called my parents and told them to come in ASAP. I can not imagine what my mom felt when she walked into the room seeing that a nurse is manual intubating me (Endotracheal Intubation) as they told my mom that they are taking me to Intensive Care. Where they put me in a medically induced coma. When I did wake up 14 later I didn’t not remember anything that happened. I didn’t know where I was and they had feared that I suffered brain damage, but thankfully I did not, (well I do have problems with my short/long term memory).


They kept me on intensive care for a little longer then I was allowed to go back to the YPU, where physiotherapists came to see me everyday, as I had to learn to walk and basically do everything all over again. Not long after fluids have again started to build up around my heart but this time they caught it in time got a drain put in and drained it all out. After this they have started me on a different type of chemo, which was finally working and we started talking about Stem-Cell Transplant, then started my collection which took a couple attempts as my veins are really really bad so every time they tried to put me on the machine my veins went to play hide and seek. Initially the collection was successful and i have finally received the transplant.




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