Francesca’s Journey…

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This website is dedicated to the memory of Francesca Richardson who has fought against Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma over the last five months.

Her journey started in August 2014 and in her words here is the beginning of that journey:-

hey thereFrancesca I am nine and three quarters. I live in a small village in North Bedfordshire called Melchbourne with my Mum and Dad, and dog, Buster.

I go to School in Riseley and have just moved up to Middle School. My favourite subjects are Maths, PE, Art and Performing Arts. I hope to get back to School as soon as I am well enough so I can carry on my lessons with my friends.

I really enjoy spending time outside in the countryside and riding my pony, Freddie. I help my Dad with all his jobs and I am an expert hay mower and grass cutter. I also love looking after my lambs which I helped my Mum bottle feed.

My journey started during the Summer holidays while I was away on holiday with my Grannie and Dampie. I had had a lovely time with them swimming, riding my bike and having days out. Then, two days before we were due to go home my leg started to hurt.

We thought I had just strained it and so I rested it. When I got home Mum took me to the Doctors and they said they thought it was a strain and to rest it. Then Mum and Dad had to take me to A&E as my leg was really hurting and not getting any better.

After having lots of tests, one being in the MRI scanner for 1 ¼ hours, and seeing lots of Doctors we were told that I had a tumour in my tummy and that they were sending me to Addenbrookes Hospital. After lots more tests, scans, needles and biopsies the Doctors told us that I had B Cell Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.

They then started me on a course of chemotherapy. The first one was a very small dose to make sure that it didn’t make my kidneys poorly. Once they checked that I was ok they started the next chemo which was 6 days and then 2 weeks rest, and then they started the next course of another 6 days and 2 weeks rest.

After that course I was very poorly and had something called Mucositis which made all my mouth and tummy blister and be very sore. I have also had to have 2 blood transfusions as the chemo affects your blood count and can make you be very poorly. Once I was feeling better they gave me another course of chemo which lasted for 7 days and then I had to have lots of scans to review how I was doing.

I have now had to have another biopsy with a camera and bone marrow tests, and I have just started my last course of chemotherapy.

Since going into hospital in August I have only been home for a few days here and there, and I am really looking forward to finishing this course of chemo and hopefully being able to spend some time at home with all my family.

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Unfortunately in early December Francesca started to have pains in her leg again, and after being admitted onto the ward again she had to endure yet another biopsy on her hip and bone marrow as they detected a mass in her hip.  We were told this could be a cyst and if so they would leave a drain in.

As we walked into recovery we were looking for the drain but it was not visible.  We were told “sorry but the mass was solid, we have taken a sample for testing”.  It was what we had dreaded the most.

We were yet again called in to see the Consultants to be told the Lymphoma had returned and that for it to have returned this quickly was not good.

So before Christmas Francesca had to endure an incredible high dose of chemotherapy, with more planned after Christmas.

We managed to have a week and a half at home over Christmas and made the most of being at home.  But the pain had not subsided in her leg and was getting worse and then she had a temperature which meant we went back to Addenbrookes.  Due to the pain they sent her for another CT scan.  It was then on the Friday 9 January 2015 that we were told the Lymphoma had spread and there was nothing more they could do for Francesca.

Sadly, Francesca passed away on 29 January 2015

We are now proudly raising money to support research and awareness into Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

Please Donate Here

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