I need to work backwards for this blog to be useful to anyone else but for now I need to look forwards and explain what's going on right now.
I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia three years a go, in February 2011, it didn't come as huge shock to be diagnosed with something serious as I had had the classic 'nagging feeling' for a year - as I've already suggested, it takes me a while to get round to doing things....
Skipping forward to now I am pleased to be able to say that in the last three years I have continued to work and due to becoming obsessed with cycling my basic fitness is significantly better than it was pre-diagnosis. I haven't taken a single day off sick from work and along with some loving and much loved friends, family and partner, I have helped to raise around £10,000 for LLR by participating in cycling events such as the 180 mile 2012 London Revolution, last year's Prudential Ride 100 and of course, every Bikeathon since 2011.
However, despite the above, whilst being on 'watch and wait' the CLL has indeed progressed, slowly over the first two years and then in the last year a bit quicker. Not in a hugely noticeable way to me I hasten to add.I mean the obvious glands have got bigger slowly and maybe if I was pushed I might say I've been feeling a bit more tired, but now my haemoglobin is a bit low and the lymphocytes are rising quicker than they were six months a go (I'm not so good at the medical data..).
With that in mind, my consultant, the very reassuring and perceptive Professor Devereux, has entered me into the IcIcLLe Clinical trial. I am the first CLL patient attending Kings College Hospital to be entered in to the trial (as a certain person asked at the time, do I get a badge?) and I start on August 11th. On August 10th I have every intention of taking up my place on this year's Prudential Ride 100, I am determined to finish.
The Clinical Trial offers people like me such hope and I feel extremely lucky to be able to take part and indeed that the trial exists at all. This is largely down to LLR, researchers like Professor Devereux and all the other people who are fighting to beat blood cancer.
I should add....The drug that features in the trial is called Ibrutinib and although I'm not going to attempt to explain what it does exactly, what I do know is that it is non-invasive and will involve, all being well, nothing more than taking a tablet daily. Obviously I do know a bit more than that about the trial but I wouldn't want to try and explain it here!