Emma H.
Posted by

Ollie's Story

Emma H.
Posted by
02 Jan 2017

A Day that will never be forgotten... 2 October 2012

On a Saturday morning Ollie asked if he could get in the bath with me. He was aged 3 and 10 months at the time. While he was playing, I noticed his testicle was really swollen, much bigger than the other one. 

He said it didn’t hurt but I couldnt stop thinking about it so dropped his older brother at his friends and took Ollie to the out of hours doctor. Ollie was full of beans, really well had no other symptoms, I really didnt think it was anything serious. 

As it was a Saturday, there was no one available to do bloods, the doctor didn’t really indicate what it may be, but said the children’s ward would contact me with an appointment to run some blood tests and a scan.


I had a call on Monday morning, with an appointment for lunchtime on Tuesday. He had magic cream and the blood test was done, we had to wait ages for the scan. We went back to wait on the ward, Ollie was happily watching a Power Rangers dvd, whilst I was taken to one side and told that they had found Blasts in Ollie’s blood sample and that Ollie had leukaemia.

Before we knew it we were blue lighted in an ambulance that evening to the Royal Marsden in Sutton. He was diagnosed within 24 hours with having both Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and a marker of Acute Myloid Leukaemia. His only sign had been the swollen testicle, an unusual symptom and diagnosis, more common at relapse.


Thankfully Ollie responed really well to the chemo and he finished treatment on January 15th last year. He is doing really well and has joined a swimming club where at his last two galas he has come in first places in the 25 metre crawl.

When I see him now and think of him back then, maybe he was a bit lacking in energy and lethargic, but not noticeably so. He was doing two dog walks a day, leading up to diagnosis, and had no bruising or frequent illnesses or weight loss. It really was completely out of the blue. But his bone marrow was packed with leukemia cells on his first LP, which suggests it had been there for a while.

Psychological Impact

I'm so proud of him and how far he's come since his treatment but I do worry a little about how he's doing socially. At school he appears a little unconfident and lacking in social skills but give him a groupp of adults and he is on top form. 

I have struggled since he’s been off treatment, too, like Id lost my purpose. But I started work in September in the office of a Primary School and it was just what I needed to start to feel like me again, not that I will ever be the old me.

I am so thankful he got in the bath with me that day back in October 2012.

If you've experienced any of the issues that Emma has talked about in her blog or simply want to share your own experiences of blood cancer please don't hesitate in joinining our patient community and leaving a comment in the box below.



Emma thank you for your blog spreading great awareness of diagnosis. I didn't know swollen testicle was one of the possible symptoms. I'm glad you are both beginning to return to normal. 




Make a donation

I would like to give...