It’s nearly two years since my diagnosis. What a journey! Until that point I had never given a thought to blood cancer, or bone marrow transplants. Why would I?? The closest I got was watching a TV drama called ‘Undeniable’, and thinking how amazing… a bone marrow transplant changes your blood group to the same type as the donor’s. Little did I know!!
It all started with a routine blood test for something totally unrelated showed up a low white blood cell count. After a few further tests my consultant thought it was Hairy Cell Leukaemia, mildly troubling but it could be managed. Soon after that, a bone marrow biopsy showed Myloedysplasia for which the treatment could have been watch and wait, or a bone marrow transplant. Because of the low white blood cell count they decided that a bone marrow transplant would be the way to go.
So – more tests, and they roped in my sister Jane to be checked for a match. By this time my leukemic cells were up to 30% which was a shocker – and they now declared I have Acute Myeloid Leukaemia!! Unbelievable, it’s a rare disease, only about 2,000 people a year are diagnosed with it in the UK and most of them are over 65. Had to be me didn’t it!!
Jane turned out to be a brilliant 100% match, which was a miracle as there was only a 1 in 4 chance of that, and the decision to go with the bone marrow transplant was spot on as now there was no real choice. It was at this point that I started my blog, Lucy's leukaemia observations, to provide a little overview of what’s happening, when and where, and how was feeling. Here's a photo of me with Jane as she prepared to donate her stem cells:
There were a lot ups and downs along the way but I'm now in a position where fine tuning is taking place fine tuning as I continue on my road to recovery.
I still have to go for regular check ups, and I still have to be careful about some things I took for granted before all this. But when I remember Dr Sarah Janes telling me, “You need a bone marrow transplant, and without it you will probably ony have three years left”. Wow – that stopped me in my tracks.
However I am back to work, I feel a lot better, and I sort of want to move on and put my experience behind me!
That said – I love the fact that this blog has helped, and is still helping, people going through the same journey. And this is what I want to do now – try, where I can to help make a little difference to other sufferers and their fight. Please feel free to send me a message, or ask any relevant questions. But for now I am going to be quiet, unless – of course – there is anything specific to say.
Read Lucy's amazing blog 'Lucy's leukemic observations' to find out more about her amazing journey through treatment and a bone marrow transplant.