Keith shares his story to put the limelight on Lymphoma

Icon Writers / 28 Nov, 2022

Lymphoma is the sixth most common cancer in Australia. Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer which develops in the lymphatic system, an important part of the immune system.

It is estimated nearly 7400 Australians will be diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2022. People like Keith Barnard.

The 66-year-old Capalaba local was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma in April 2022.

Keith and Olivia smiling
Keith and Olivia smiling

“I discovered a lump in my right groin, so I went to see my GP who sent me for an ultrasound. They thought it was a hernia. After a series of scans and blood tests, I was eventually diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma in my left and right groin. I was referred to radiation oncologist A/Prof Kumar Gogna and the team at Icon Cancer Centre Redland. In mid-August I completed my 15 sessions of radiation therapy treatment. My treatment was seamless from start to finish. I was blessed with nil side effects and I could not have hoped for a better outcome. I can’t thank the team at Icon Redland enough. The care and compassion they gave to my wife, Olivia and I was second to none. They put me at ease and explained everything to me. I’m now looking forward a long and happy recovery,” says Keith.

Keith says the support of Olivia helped him through his cancer diagnosis and treatment, both physically and emotionally.

“Olivia is a nurse and I am so grateful she was there for me. I struggled with my emotions when I was trying to process my diagnosis. I’d get snappy for no reason and she encouraged me to seek help. The team at Icon Redland gave me contact details for support services at the Cancer Council. They sent me literature to read and podcasts to listen to. I spoke to a counsellor for over an hour and it really helped. They also provided material to help Olivia. A cancer diagnosis is a challenging time on many levels, so it’s great to have access to additional support. My advice to people is to stay calm and be guided by the health professionals. It’s certainly made me realise that I need to make the most of life,” says Keith.

As signs and symptoms for lymphoma can be similar to other common conditions, it’s important to see your GP or healthcare professional if you experience any of the symptoms below. Discussing anything concerning with your doctor as soon as possible can help give you peace of mind and offer the best chance of successful treatment if you receive a lymphoma diagnosis.

Symptoms may include:

  • Night sweats
  • Tiredness
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of weight and appetite
  • Swollen, painless lymph nodes under the arms, neck or groin
  • Fever
  • Pain in the chest, coughing and/or trouble breathing
  • Chronic infection
  • Enlarged stomach due to swollen lymph nodes or spleen.

For more information about Lymphoma.

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