Butterfly Anna
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BOOM!!! Total Shock News!

Butterfly Anna
Posted by
25 Nov 2015

The shocking day my life was turned upside down by Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

So.....here I am writing my first blog post about my experience of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. I finished my treatment a couple of months ago but only now feel strong enough to revisit it all!

Back in April this year I had been feeling ill with flu like symptoms and after having a week off work, spending most of it in bed, on the next Monday I decided to go to the doctors.  I'm never ill (the old me never was) so I knew something wasn't right but though I'd got a virus or something!  I saw the nurse practictioner and she gave me antibiotics suggesting an upper urinary tract infection and I was happy with that as a lot of my symptoms fitted it!  She also asked me to go and have my bloods done just to see if anything would show up.  I had my blood taken then went home and back to bed for the rest of the day.  

At 7pm my phone rang, it was a private number, I nearly didn't answer it, it was my GP!  He asked how I was feeling and if I was alone, at this point my mind was racing! He then said that something was wrong with my blood and that I needed to go to hospital straight away, he said he would call an ambulance but if my husband was able to take me it would be quicker! OMG this is serious I thought but was also a little relieved that finally I would get treatment for whatever it was!  At this point my 8year old daughter got really upset so while I rang my parents to come and look after her my husband calmed her down.

When I got to the hospital they were waiting for me and as soon as I was admitted lots of bloods were taken and IV antibiotics started....even at this point never in a million years did I think cancer!!  The next morning I had a bone marrow sample taken and even then cancer didn't cross my mind...not me!  A couple of hours later one of my consultants came into my room explained about my blood and told me I had AML!  My husband started crying but I was shocked and numb!  And this was the start of my journey which had been so tough, emotional, painful, shocking, sad, eye opening.......hard to put into words!!  Even now I sometimes think.....did all that happen to me, or was it all a very bad dream!!!!!




Thank you so much for your blog. I'm really glad that you've finished treatment and are feeling strong enough to start sharing your experiences which I hope that you find therapeutic as you look to re-adjust to life after treatment.

Your experience of diagnosis sounds quite a dramatic one and reminds me of when I was diagnosed with it all happening so quickly. Did you know much about AML before you were diagnosed? I ahve to confess I didn't really know what CML was before my diagnosis...

It sounds like your GP was very thorough when you first presented to them which isn't always the case for patients.

I completely relate to your comment about not knowing quite what to think looking back at it all after finishing treatment. I found the re-adjustment harder than I thought I would and still often think of life before leukaemia, after leukaemia and this weird period in between that I unintentionally don't remember all that much about.

Look forward to reading your future blogs and wish you all the best as you continue your recovery. Did you have a transplant?


Hi, thanks for the reply! No I knew nothing about AML and very little about Leukemia!  I really want to raise its profile now!  It all happened so quickly, think I'm still trying to process it all and it feels like it happened to someone else at times!  Do you know of anyone else with AML similar age to me? I can't seem to find anyone.  The re-adjustment is so hard and I don't know how I should be feeling??  No I didn't have a transplant! thanks

Aileen Lamb

Hi Anna. I'm 43 and had a very similar experience to you when I was diagnosed with AML in Sept this year. I'm about to go back into hospital for my third round of chemo and am in the process of finding out if I will need a stem cell transplant. 

I too feel very young to have this crappy disease and when I attend the haematology day unit I'm one of the youngest by about 20 years!!


Hi, thank you so much for getting in touch!  Our stories sound very similar, I had 4 cycles of chemo starting in April this year.  I was always the youngest patient by about 20 years too!!  Have you any children?  I am in remission at the moment but scared I could relapse at anytime!  I have blood tests every month at the moment. I came out of hospital after the 4th cycle the second week in September and even though my treatment has finished I still have a lot to deal with!  Hope to hear from you soon, wishing you all the best for your next cycle!  Regards Anna


My ex girlfriend was diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia (think it was AML, but could be wrong) about 7 or 8 years so I know exactly what your husband went through as I cried too. Although she was rather ill, she made a full recovery. I was diagnosed with Leukaemia (CLL) myself two years ago. I'm fortunate that I don't need treatment at the moment so can't really appreciate what you have to go through, but like you I do feel like there is no one my age around locally in a similar postition to talk with. Most people at the hospital when I go for check ups are about 20 years older and I've even heard people say "Ooh he's young isn't he" which I suppose is a compliment as I'm almost 40! lol Anyway, I've enjoyed reading your blog posts and I hope everything is currently ok.


Hi, lovely to hear from you and apologies for delay in reply! Nice to hear from someone similar age to me! I'm keeping busy and trying to stay positive , how are you feeling about your leukaemia? Also take a look at annasbloodcancer.blogspot.com & get in touch, take care