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Kat shares her experience of attending a Lymphoma Masterclass

Published on: 9 November 2017

Kat, a Macmillan Haematology Nurse Specialist, shares how attending our Lymphoma Masterclass helped her focus for the year ahead. 

Speaker presents at Lymphoma Masterclass event

I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend this year’s Lymphoma Masterclass. The day was themed around ‘difficult conversations’. The day started with Professor Rinaldi updating us on what is new in lymphoma. This was a highly informative session that took us on a tour through the roles of antibody treatments, IMIDs, B cell receptor signalling, BCL-2 inhibitors, and Car-T cells. It was encouraging to hear that treatment for lymphoma is moving forward with new effective treatments ahead, moving away from a one-size treatment fits all approach to precision treatments. 

This was followed by two talks that encompassed difficult conversations: one on end-of-life discussions and the other on sexuality. These presentations gave us the opportunity to discuss and challenge one another about how well we have these conversations and if indeed we actually have these discussions at all. Being in an environment where we can share our concerns and discuss good practice and educate ourselves to be more comfortable in tackling these conversations was incredibly helpful.

After a delicious lunch we had a presentation on oral health. This was a fantastic evidence-based talk on the importance of introducing oral health to patients before they even begin treatment. After this our attention was turned to current research that involves people affected by lymphoma.

Helen Mee gave a talk on Live your life - a project for people who have completed treatment or struggling on ‘active monitoring’ - which provides a fantastic opportunity to support patients at this stage of their pathway. 

The day was completed by a talk on ‘self care and me time’, which for me summed up the day. By taking time out to reflect, educate ourselves, meet others tackling the same issues and coming up with novel solutions, our work life becomes productive and satisfying. This in turn allows us to feel the job has been worthwhile and done well and we can go home each day with a sense of wellbeing that helps us go back the next day to do it all again.   

For me the Lymphoma Masterclass helps me to refocus and be rejuvenated ready for the work ahead for the next year.

Kat Dawson, Macmillan Haematology Nurse Specialist and Lymphoma Association nurse forum member