Terry Hickmott was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in October 2004.
"I was feeling out of breath and went for what I thought was a routine blood test to find out what was wrong. A day later I got the devastating news that I had CML. Leukaemia is a very personal thing, you hear of leukaemia, but until it hits you, you have no idea. It comes out the blue.
Once you’re diagnosed with the disease you need to learn very quickly about what you’ve got," Terry says.
Terry was put on a high dose of Glivec, a drug which controls the CML. "There are some side effects of the drug – sickness, diarrhea and it can make you very tired. There are three stages of CML – the chronic phase, the accelerated phase and the blast phase. The idea of the drug is to keep the leukaemia in the first stage as long as possible."
Terry has to visit the hospital approximately every two months for tests to monitor his leukaemia but his condition is controlled and he is able to enjoy life.
"I’m still not cured – it’s always hanging over me, but you learn to cope with it."