Living with blood cancer is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one. From my own experience there were good days and bad days during the course of my treatment. The only way I got though it all was by making the most of the days when I was feeling good and not worrying about the future or things that I couldn't control.
Another blood cancer patient gave me that advice and talking with others about their own experiences really helped me in my battle. Their stories of courage and bravery during difficult times inspired me and I still draw strength from some of their words. With that in mind, here are 10 inspirational quotes from blood cancer patients which I hope will provide a lift to current patients and their families:
1. James Fisher, Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia patient
"My experience of cancer has made me a much stronger person. People say that I must look at life differently now. Not at all! I still work too hard and do not find enough time to spend with family and friends. I looked at my cancer as nothing more than a blood disorder and something that I was going to beat."
2. Shiv Meaker, Hodgkin Lymphoma patient
“Dressing up and wearing all sorts of crazy headgear to my chemo sessions became a huge part of my journey. It was one of my ways of trying to own the experience; I didn’t want to be a victim. At my last treatment I vividly recall hearing a nurse say “It’s not every day you see Father Christmas getting cannulated.”
3. Andy Jackson, Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia patient
"You never know what’s round the corner but I can safely say that every day truly is a blessing and if I could offer one piece of advice to anybody going through or about to go through this process it would be to keep smiling and never give up no matter how hard it gets!"
4. Federica Nardella, Hodgkin Lymphoma patient
"During those months I never stopped dreaming, making plans, finding ways of turning that painful experience into something beautiful. To turn the destruction into creation, to learn its lesson deeply and forever by turning that darkness into the most precious thought and memory: always remember, do not forget it, even for a second, of how important your life is."
5. John Applebee, Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia patient
"Life doesn’t have to stop when you’ve been diagnosed with blood cancer. Those battling against leukaemia can recover and be fitter and healthier than they ever were. It’s all about showing people that it’s possible to get over it and do these mad things."
6. Jessica Cutler, Hodgkin Lymphoma patient
"Since going into remission I have started driving lessons, gone back to work and taken part in the race for life with a few others. I'm going back to college in September and later this month I am doing a sky dive for CLIC Sargent. I have also made a list of everything I want to do in life and I am currently going through it and ticking things off I have done/ planned. This experience has taught me to live life to the full and enjoy every minute of it!"
7. Joe Smale, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia patient
"I won’t give up until we’ve beaten blood cancers in children for good (currently 90% success rate) because I don’t want any other kids to go through what I've been through. One day I even want to walk the North Pole!"
8. Wendy Munro, non-Hodgkin Lymphoma patient
"Life throws you challenges and I know that the symptoms I have faced with chemotherapy were a short term pain for a long term gain. This challenge has clearly shown me how amazing some people can be."
Andy McDermott, Hodgkin Lymphoma patient
"While I was having chemo I watched a programme called ‘Wheel Heroes’ about ex-England footballer Geoff Thomas cycling every stage of the 2007 Tour de France, two days after the professionals. It was incredibly moving – he took on the challenge with other cancer survivors. It was an unbelievable achievement, which motivated and inspired me massively.
As I don’t enjoy running and I’m pretty terrible at it, I thought that cycling would be a perfect challenge. I really wanted to get involved in a worthwhile charity and to try to ‘give something back’. I’m still here - I feel that I have a debt to pay!"
10. Dr Vicky Forster, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia patient
"Dear cancer, I beat you aged 8, and today I got my PhD in cancer research. Take that!"
Do you have an inspirational quote or patient story that you'd like to share with us? Send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch.