Over the last few months I have had the privilege of working with over thirty blood cancer patients on our very exciting Patient Experience Video project, where we have been busy interviewing patients about their experiences of living with blood cancer. Patient feedback we have received over the last year has made us recognise the need for greater peer-peer support, which we hope to facilitate in part through this collection of videos. The most frequently occurring questions we receive directly from patients helped us to structure the interviews we conducted. Our aim is to explore some of the most relevant issues to a blood cancer patient and share some tips and advice directly from patients. Our newly recruited film stars all bravely travelled to our head office to sit somewhat uncomfortably while microphones were fitted, shots lined up and ever so slightly daunting lights turned on, to tell us their story.
As a relative newcomer to LLR, with a distant memory of Biology A-Level, the idea of working for such a well-established blood cancer charity in patient support was certainly nerve-racking but also very exciting. The opportunity to engage with patients in such a direct and intimate setting so early on in my career has been invaluable to me and my understanding of the various conditions and the many different tactics people have for managing them.
‘Emotional’ is probably the most accurate word to describe the making of these videos. We soon realised a box of tissues on hand was a necessity for some of those particularly sad experiences, but what surprised me was the humour that came from the more light hearted moments occurring along the way. It made it abundantly clear to me that no two journeys are the same and the individual is at the heart of their condition rather than the condition being at the heart of the individual.
With filming almost finished, we have begun to review the footage and arrange it for editing. We are excited to get this done as quickly as possible and have them ready for all to see on our website soon.
The patients involved have given us some incredible material to work with and there has been a really proactive feel to them which I hope will translate to the viewer and provide a sense of empowerment and support. I would like to thank all of those involved in this project for giving me such an insight into life with blood cancer and how vital the work of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is to improving the lives of everyone involved in the journey.
I would also like to thank Bay Construct whose generous donation has allowed this project to take shape.