Help Han on her journey to beat Lymphoma

My story;

Hi, my name is Han, 10 days ago I turned 26. This is my story so far…



In December 2017 at the age of 24, I found a lump in my right breast however I thought that this would just be a cyst as I thought I was fit and healthy and too young for it to be anything sinister.

Fast forward to February 2018 I finally decided to get the lump checked out with my local GP. Within three days I was sent to Euxton Hall where I underwent my first mammogram and scans.

Following on from that, I was sent to Chorley Hospital Breast Surgery Ward for a Biopsy to determine if the lump was cancerous or not.
 
Two weeks later I got the devastating news that the lump was Stage 2B Invasive Breast Cancer which meant that the tumour was discovered to be bigger than 5cm in growth but had not yet spread. At this point the prognosis was good.

After the diagnosis, the plan was to do a lumpectomy surgery which would remove the cancerous tissue and the remaining cells would be attacked with chemotherapy.

March 2018, I had the lumpectomy and had 3 weeks recovery in between starting chemotherapy. Unfortunately to make things more difficult I contracted an infection to the scar site, delaying further treatment.

After recovering from the infection, in April 2018 I started on FEC treatment which is an intervenes chemotherapy drug which is used for a lot of breast cancers. It is a combination of 3 different drugs called, fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide. On this occasion I used a cold cap to ensure I didn’t lose my hair.

FEC is really used to stop the spreading of cancer after surgery, however for me it wasn’t proving effective as the PET scans were showing that the cancer was not shrinking. After 6 cycles of FEC, (due to have 8 cycles), the PET scan showed the worst possible news… the cancer had spread. This had now taken us to September 2018 where I went for another lumpectomy surgery to try and remove the cancerous tissue. Once recovered from surgery, after the 7th cycle of FEC, a routine PET scan showed the cancer had now spread to my left breast and was continuing to spread.

In October 2018, I was put on cyclophosphamide which is an intravenous chemo in cycles. I had 8 cycles of this, which took us to February 2019. Another routine PET scan showed that the cancer was responding to treatment, but not as quickly as we would have liked, so yet another course of treatment was needed. Another course of chemotherapy, this time AC chemo, which still used the cyclophosphamide but coupled with a drug called Adriamycin. I was due to have 6 cycles of this, which takes us to July 2019.
However, I started to deteriorate, and my symptoms were not related to breast cancer (a worry in itself). I was a lot more fatigued, having dizzy spells and often fainting and had pains underneath my arms. Due to this, I had yet another PET scan, which showed yet again more bad news. Although the AC was working and attacking the cancer slowly, it had now spread into my lymph nodes.

July 2019 it was decided to stop the chemotherapy and I underwent biopsy’s and surgeries to remove the lymph nodes and I was put on two months of radiotherapy. After 3 extremely tough months of radiotherapy, which made my skin so painful that I could hardly lift my arms, my consultant was positive the treatment would work so we continued to battle on. Towards the end of radiotherapy in August 2019, I had a usual MDT meeting where my PET scans were discussed.

I heard the incredible news that the breast cancer had GONE! No more cancerous tissues were showing on the pet scans.



However, this was soon followed by a crushing blow that I had Stage 3 Lymph Node Cancer (Diffuse B-CELL Lymphoma as a secondary) which is very aggressive but appeared to be responding to radiotherapy.

It was agreed I would undergo another month of radiotherapy to try & attack the cancer. This was extremely tough, it made me sick, my energy levels were through the floor and I now struggled to do the things, that up to now had kept me going.

Once the radio was finished, it was another MDT meeting, where they said that recent PET scans showed new METS in my lungs, meaning the cancer had now spread to my lungs.

The consultant then gave the news “There is nothing more we can do here anymore apart from contain it”. This is when they told me that even with chemotherapy and preventative measures, I would only have 2 and half years left to live.

I wouldn’t live until my 29th birthday.

My world came crashing down, I felt like I had worked so hard for nothing.

However, with the support of my family and friends, I wasn’t ready to give up on life. After long hours of research, we discovered that trials down south and abroad were available that targeted my cancer.

After taking the research to my consultant, he agreed to try me with one final intensive chemotherapy to attack the cancer and agreed to refer me to Christies, but this would be a 4-6 week wait until my first referral appointment.

November 2019, I have started a brand-new treatment called Escalated BEACOPP DAC, which is an intensive IV chemo whilst I await my referral to Christies to see if I can go on trials such as CAR-T Cell Therapy. I have opted against a cold cap as this was painful and so stressful last time, however, I have already started to lose my hair after just one session. I have also started to feel side effects of extreme sickness, tiredness and struggle to have conversations at times.

Because of all the above and the strain on my body, I have had to give up working, stop doing the things I love such as playing football and going to the gym.

24th November 2019, I am feeling tired, in pain and I am getting breathless easily, but I have another session of chemo on Tuesday and I will see an update on my referral to Christies.

 

To add to my stresses, in March 2019, I called an end to my marriage.

But my Ex-Husband refused to divorce me until a “suitable” reason was given.

After months of arguments, 6 months later he finally agreed to the divorce in September 2019 as from that moment, I found the courage to tell him I was in fact gay. Because of this, he has refused me any money of the property we still share, refusing to sell and threatening to get the house repossessed.

I now live with my mum, sister and her 4 children in a 3-bedroom house and struggle for the space and rest I need.

We are hoping to raise funds as soon as possible so that future treatments can be accessible and put in place as quickly as possible and travelling costs could be covered. This will also help relieve stress of money issues and allow me to focus on kicking Cancers butt.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and thank you in advance for any contributions and sharing my journey with others.

Love,
Han

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • £100 
    • 16 d
  • Sam Cadwallader 
    • £20 
    • 17 d
  • Vari Welford 
    • £200 
    • 24 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £50 
    • 26 d
  • Microbiology Department  
    • £100 
    • 1 mo
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Organizer

Hannah Hayes 
Organizer
Lostock Hall, North West England, United Kingdom
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