2023 is not what we expected.
After our annual trip to Bali in July last year I experienced fairly constant stomach cramping and bloating which I put down to a lingering case of “Bali Belly”. After blood tests, stool tests, gut supplements and the like, on New Year’s Eve I had a scan done of my stomach.
You can imagine that it came as quite a shock when the radiologist told me that I had blobs around my stomach that he was 99.9% certain was lymphoma. For those that don’t know (like me at the time), lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects blood cells and puts your immune system at risk.
I was rushed to Prince of Wales Hospital Emergency for more scans, blood tests, general prodding and poking only for the diagnosis to be confirmed. The bigger question of what type of lymphoma, and what it would mean for me and my family, would have to wait until after a biopsy of my stomach and further scans.
Given the time of year I was sent home by the amazing Emergency Department Doctor with the very wise advice to live life as “normal” as possible until all of this became clear. I was referred on to 2 websites to find out more, Cancer Council Australia and the organisation I’d like to tell you more about, Lymphoma Australia.
Lymphoma Australia (LA) is the only incorporated charity in Australia dedicated to solely providing education, support, awareness and advocacy initiatives for Australians touched by lymphoma.
LA has a huge amount of resources on its website and social media channels. I was able to find factual and practical information on what to expect, how to tell the kids, diet, treatment options etc…..
In the LOOONG 2 weeks until I received the full diagnosis, LA was my lifeline for knowledge which prevented me from going down the “Dr Google” rabbit hole. It gave me great comfort to have this information at my fingertips and if I had other questions LA also offers a Lymphoma Care Nurse Hotline. What an amazing organisation!
Given the support I was provided, I have been wanting to give back to LA in some small way. It just so happens that LA’s annual funding drive “Legs Out for Lymphoma” is on in March. This event promotes awareness of lymphoma across the Australian community by encouraging patients, families and friends to get out and do some activity, which we all know is hugely beneficial for everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing.
I am not a huge athlete (I have a good excuse at the moment!), so my physical activity goals in March are fairly modest.
Our family team “Norbury Lim Plodders” are planning to do walks during the month and generally be more active. We’d love you to support the cause by donating to our team or Lymphoma Australia directly. Please give what you can using this link.
Thanks for reading my story and for all the love and support I have received on my journey so far. After a bumpy start to treatment, I am feeling well now and optimistic I’ll be back to my normal life in the second half of this year.
Take care and please remember to get those checks-ups we often put off – it might just save your life!