Symptoms of gray zone lymphoma: Errin Shaw was newly diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer
A woman who thought she was having a heart attack during a music festival was stunned to be diagnosed with a rare form of cancer just four hours later.
Errin Shaw, 30, was enjoying the Snow Patrol at TRNSMT in Glasgow when she was struck by excruciating pain – and even asked her husband if she had been stabbed.
She was rushed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary and just four hours later was told she had gray zone lymphoma, a rare form of the disease that affects the immune system.
Errin, from Inchinan, Renfrewshire, had itchy skin for months before she was diagnosed in September, and was told she would not live to see Christmas.
She underwent grueling e-poch chemotherapy, which consisted of 24 hours of treatment over five days, before taking breaks of one to two weeks.
Adjusted-dose e-poch chemotherapy is a combination of chemotherapy used to treat certain types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This process was repeated five times with only ten days during the eight month period that Errin was not at the Beatson Cancer Center due to the complexity of her treatment.
Errin said: “I was at TRNSMT in Glasgow Green, we were listening to Snow Patrol, and I actually thought I was having a heart attack.
“I turned to my husband Graeme and said ‘have I been stabbed?’ and he said no, so mom picked us up.
“She took me straight to Glasgow Royal and within four hours I was diagnosed with cancer.
“I was there for three or four nights and then I went straight to Beatson – so I didn’t go home after TRNSMT for a month.”
In June of this year Errin got a call from her cancer nurse saying her scans were clear and she was in remission.
Errin said: “My phone rang and it was Beatson.
“Every time my phone rang and it said ‘Beatson’ I would always look at whoever I was with and say ‘pack my bag’ because we knew that meant I was coming back.
“It was my lymphoma nurse, Michelle, and she said, ‘I can’t wait until your appointment on Monday to tell you this news. We actually had to triple check it because we can’t believe your PET scanner is clean’.
“She said that at this time no disease has been detected.
“As you can imagine, it was very clear from last year when I was told I wouldn’t see Christmas until I was told. It was a crazy moment.”
Beatson Cancer Charity is launching its Bauble Appeal this Christmas to ensure more patients and their families are supported.
Errin has since held a ball called the ‘Gingie Ball’ to celebrate her remission, which raised £5,375 for the Beatson Cancer Charity.
She also plans to visit Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center on Christmas Day to hand out gifts to patients after experiencing a stay on the wards last Christmas.
Erin said: “There are no words for Beatson, I wouldn’t be here without them.
“Obviously we’ve raised thousands for Beatson because when you’re there you experience first hand how amazing they are, they’re phenomenal.
“I can’t say enough about them – from the assistants to the porters to the cafe ladies.
“When you ring the bell and the whole team is cheering you on, the fundraisers that helped me with the ball — everybody just wants you to do well when you get in there.”
Rachel Mullin, Campaigns Officer at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are delighted to be launching our Bauble Appeal with the support of some patients and family members who have been kind enough to share their story.
“They all have first-hand experience of Beatson and the difference our charity makes to patients.
“We would appreciate any support you can offer us this Christmas so we can continue to be there for patients and families across the West of Scotland.”
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