So off we went to the hospital, not knowing our life was about to dramatically change.
Our hospital experience started off with a 9.5 hour wait in A&E! Yes we arrived at 2.30pm and I finally got seen by a doctor at midnight. Basically it was winter out in Australia and Swine Flu had hit in a big way, the waiting room was full of people with really bad colds thinking they were dying from Swine Flu. Awesome!
So I got admitted for the first time on 17th July 2009 and basically the next 2 months was spent in and out of hospital having tests and being told 'it's not Lymphoma but we don't know what it is, whatever it is it's rare'.
I got more and more ill, I wasn't so much in pain but I was having incredible fevers, I've never felt so cold in all my life but I would be running a temperature of 42c. I wasn't sleeping well during the nights as I was having terrible night sweats and waking up soaking. I was exhausted.
They wanted to biopsy an enlarged lymphnode but they decide it would be a very risky operation to take one from my abdomen as my spleen was so enlarged they were worried it might rupture. Not a good idea!
Luckily a lymphnode on the back of my neck decided to grow to the size of a golf ball, so mid August they whipped that out.
While all this was happening my Mum was getting more and more worried back home in the UK, so she decided to book a flight and she arrived in Australia in the 2nd week of August. I had kept some details from her as I didn't want to worry her. Unfortunately while she was on her flight, I got rushed into hospital to have a blood transfusion. So Mum arrived early in the morning after a 24 hour flight and J brought her straight to the hospital I was not looking good it has to be said. What was the first thing my Mum did when she saw me? She told me off for losing too much weight and being more ill than I'd let her know,. I was trying to protect her but she had an almighty shock when she saw me.
So I'd had the biopsy and the node had been sent off for tests. About a week after, I was in hospital having some sort of infusion, when Prof F came in and took me and Mum aside in to a little office. He said we should now brace ourselves that it could be Lymphoma, a shock but nothing was definite.
So me, J and Mum carried on back and forth to the hospital, still nothing definite but again whatever was wrong with me was rare!
I had pleaded with the doctors to do something as I was feeling terrible the night sweats were wearing me out and the fevers were just awful, so they decided to put me on steroids. After a few days on steroids I started to feel a bit better and my appetite came back with a vengeance.
Finally they had all the results in and it didn't look good, I went to clinic to see Prof F. The 3 of us sat there while Prof F announced I had Anaplastic Large T Cell Lymphoma, an aggressive form of Lymphoma and I needed to get started on treatment immediately. What a date to get diagnosed 09/09/09, not that I'm ever going to forget that day but what a date!!
My response : Oh fuck! Oh fuck! Oh fuck! Oh Fuck. I think I carried on saying that for about 5 minutes, I didn't know what else to say.
J and I had always said if any family in the UK got seriously ill we would move back immediately and when they said it might be Lymphoma we'd already discussed that it would be best to go back to the UK.
So I got diagnosed on the Wednesday and on the Saturday Mum and I flew back to the UK, leaving J behind to get all our stuff packed up and all our stuff sorted. I left him in Sydney airport and I didn't have a clue when I would see him again or what was ahead of us.