Suzanne Beattie
Posted by
Suzanne Beattie

Patient Ambassador Experience: David Corrin

Suzanne Beattie
Posted by
Suzanne Beattie
30 Jun 2014

David talks about his experience with blood cancer, how he's moving forward, and the support he received from his amazing healthcare team

How have you been affected by blood cancer?

I have multiple myeloma and have undergone chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. I am a year on from my transplant now and living with the "new" normal still forward looking but a bit more circumspect about things. People you meet invariably say "you look well" but perhaps what they mean is that "you look normal" but they don't really understand what that means especially as many people still equate remission with cure. Luckily with no treatment underway and with the intervals between hospital visits now measured in months rather than days it is rather easier to plan and get on with life. A gentle concern always arises as you wait for the bi-monthly blood results but you have the comfort of knowing that the same team of professionals that oversaw your treatment are continuing to monitor you for signs of the disease becoming resurgent and remain poised to take action if required. At the moment the results are looking very good. A minor op in February for carpal tunnel release provided an opportunity to test the cartilage  for  para proteins and as expected they came back clear. In early March I agreed to undergo another bone marrow biopsy (not sure why because it is my least favorite procedure. As this was number 4 the novelty had well and truly worn off) but the results came back saying "no disease detected". So we seem to have a good base to go forward. The next bloods are due in May and it would be nice to see this trend maintained.

Please see my Bloodwise blogs for a full account of my patient experience of myeloma:

https://bloodwise.org.uk/blog/my-myeloma-story

https://bloodwise.org.uk/blog/life-after-stem-cell-transplant-continuing-story

How has your treatment team been helpful for you?

They have been extremely helpful, kind and very considerate, and they have made sure that I have known exactly what will happen through every stage of my treatment. The initial meeting with the haematology consultant was very productive and he wanted to hear my story from the beginning to the end, and he listened very intently and then reviewed all of my various results on the system. The stay on the ward showed me several things; Firstly how good and professional the care was and secondly how lucky I was to be under the care of the Liverpool Haematology team!! They found information for me when I needed it to learn about the tests and procedures I was having and they guided me through the whole process. I cannot speak too highly of the support that I have received from all the medical staff that I have come into contact with during this journey. The care and professionalism has been outstanding and the Royal Liverpool Hospital and all its people have been absolutely amazing and far, far exceeded my expectations.

What’s your role as an Ambassador for Bloodwise and why is it important to you?

Because of geographical factors (I live in the Isle of Man) I cannot participate in some of the events that Bloodwise run but I can offer support through Facebook and also to Bloodwise staff in reviewing documents. I decided to take on this role as I believe passionately in making people aware of blood cancers generally and myeloma specifically. There is a lack of knowledge in the population generally about blood cancers and what the treatment entails and living with an incurable disease. In particular I whole heartedly support making people aware of blood cancers as so many could have a better outcome if earlier diagnosis was available. This is not a reflection on the medical staff but recognition that they cannot do anything if a patient does not recognise they are unwell. Making people aware of just how far reaching blood cancer is and what it can entail is the most important part for me, as well as being in touch with likeminded individuals.

Is there something that you would like to see Bloodwise do in the future?

Feel there is a huge gap when patients finish treatment and go into remission. They lose their regular contact with the medical team or it becomes less frequent but the need for support still remains constant particularly concerning the likelihood of the disease returning.