Hucknall man shares his story of fighting lymphoma for Blood Cancer Awareness Month
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Jamie Hastie, aged 46, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in February.
He said: “I had never had any health issues before my diagnosis.
“I was fit and healthy, going to the gym, playing squash and running 5km once a week.
“I had never smoked, and hardly drank alcohol, so it was a shock to be told I had blood cancer, but it just shows how it can happen to anyone.
“I had been experiencing a range of symptoms since October 2022, including night sweats and fatigue.
“In addition, I was experiencing intermittent pain in my spleen, a continual cough and an inability to breathe which led to me constantly being sick, and pains in my joints that would literally move from one area to another.
“Some days I couldn’t walk because of the pain in my knee, and then others it would be because of my ankle.
“In the end, I was struggling to even walk the dog.”
Jamie went for numerous tests and scans, including ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI scans and blood tests, which all proved inconclusive before he was admitted to hospital where he needed a chest drain, antibiotics, and various infusions before a PET scan and biopsy finally revealed a large B-cell lymphoma – a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
He said: “It might sound odd, but my overwhelming feeling when I was given my diagnosis was one of relief, as I finally had an explanation of why I was feeling the way I did.”
Jamie began six rounds of chemotherapy in March.
He said: “The first 10 days were always tough, but I knew the next 10 would be better as the side effects started to ease.
“All the while, I kept telling myself ‘this will pass’ and I would concentrate on the next stage and counting down the markers leading to the end of my treatment.
“Despite the side-effects, I was actually in a much better place compared with how I was feeling before my diagnosis.”
The treatment ended in August and he is now keeping everything crossed the final scan results will be good news.
He said: “Since completing treatment, I have been living a normal life as much as possible while being careful, keeping my distance in crowded places and just generally being that little more cautious.
“I took part in Lymphoma Action’s Bridges of London walk two days after receiving chemotherapy which was just wonderful.
"The information and support my family and I have received throughout from the charity has also been invaluable, particularly for my wife.
"I have started exercising again and have continued work as a mortgage advisor.
"It’s just so nice to be doing ‘normal’ things again and we are looking forward to a much-anticipated trip to Cape Verde towards the end of the year.
"The support and love from family and friends during this time has certainly helped me to face my diagnosis and treatment with optimism and positivity.”