Dave Adamson was diagnosed with ALL in June 2010. After unsuccessful treatment he underwent a stem cell transplant in November 2010 which put him into remission, but unfortunately he relapsed in February this year after finding a 'mass' in his chest. After being treated with a new drug and targeted radiation, he is now thankfully back in remission and will be blogging for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to share his blood cancer experience. His first entry follows the fantastic news about his remission and his thoughts on the impending 75-mile London Bikeathon challenge this weekend...
After being diagnosed with ALL (T-cell) in June 2010, and failing to go into remission after my first course of treatment, I had a bone marrow transplant in November of that year. After a slow recovery and some complications with GvHD of the liver, I finally felt like I was getting my life back on track when in February 2012 the thing I expected least happened: I relapsed.
Having had a transplant from my sister, a 10 out of 10 match, things had been looking good. Throw in the pretty severe GvHD I had been struggling with, which I hoped was also promoting the much longed for Graft versus Leukaemia effect, and relapse was the last thing I expected. When I developed a lot of pain in my arm in early February 2012, my doctor told me that I might have a blood clot and sent me for an ultrasound. This showed nothing, so I was called back in for a CT scan the next morning, which revealed a tumour consisting of Leukaemic cells in my chest. Not a form of relapse I had ever heard of, but one I had to deal with nonetheless, and I was admitted for immediate treatment. After applying for funding, I was given a new type of chemo - Nelarabine - which specifically targets the T-cells. This drug was newly available, thanks to the constant work and research of groups like Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Just 6 months later I was happy to announce to the world that I am officially back in REMISSION!
The doctors reviewed the results of my PET scan in August, and called to let me know that there is no evidence of any cancer. My blood results continue to be good, and my liver GvHD is ok and pretty much under control. After celebrating with an obligatory trip to Wagamamas I enjoyed spending a couple of hours walking along the South Bank soaking up the Olympic spirit. I don't think I realised how much waiting for confirmation of remission had been playing on my mind, but as soon as I heard I cheered loudly, and felt a weight lifted off my mind.
So now it is time to resume my 'real life', starting with a return to working full time as the schools go back - I have so many ideas for great maths lessons that I can't wait to put into practice. My liver results are still a bit hit and miss, and my eyes water pretty much constantly these days, but it is nothing I can't handle. Most importantly my blood results are looking great - yesterday's blood test shows everything in the normal range.
I've spent the summer working hard to build up my strength and fitness so that I am on form for the London Bikeathon on 16th September. I'm hoping to complete the Olympic Challenge of 75 miles, including an ascent of Box Hill. 6 weeks ago this felt like an impossible task, but I've worked hard training, even testing myself against Box Hill, and I think I will be ready for the challenge. After such a crazy year it feels great to be giving back, and I hope to raise £1000 for LLR; it is my way of saying "thanks".