Sue B
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Three Years On......So Is Life Back To Normal?

Sue B
Posted by
15 Sep 2016

An Update In Honour Of Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Three years ago I had my stem cell transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. I had originally been diagnosed in 2012 and had four rounds of chemotherapy. After getting into remission and getting back to work and thinking it was all in the past, I then relapsed in 2013 and had three further rounds of chemo and my transplant.

So....how's it been since then? Well.....a bit up and down to be honest. I had five months that were completely trouble free and then in February 2014 the chronic GVHD hit. My skin went bright red and peeled off, which wasn't at all painful, but I looked like I had been on a beach for far too long. My tear glands stopped working so I now don't produce any tears at all, which means that my eyes are permanently dry and often painful. Air conditioning is the bane of my life....and in this hot weather it's a bit hard to avoid! I use a combination of drops and ointment to keep them comfortable and I'm looking forward to getting my upper tear ducts cauterised at Moorfelds Eye Hospital in the next weeks. I had the lower ones done some time ago. I also have gynae problems which will need surgery in the near future as well....but I'll spare you the details on here in case you're of a squeamish disposition!

But although my life seems to run around hospital appointments and I do have my down days, as we all do, I celebrate the day a lovely German Lady chose to donate her stem cells to me and gave me another chance at life. Cancer was a huge kick up the backside for me and enabled me to make changes in my life that I would never have done otherwise. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom in order to rise again that much more strongly.

I'm so pleased to be a Bloodwise Ambassador and if I can do my bit to help other people get through this and also help to educate others in the process, then that's fantastic.

 

 

Comments

Lizzie Goates
16.09.2016

A really wonderful blog Sue, thank you so much for writing that! Sorry to read you've had some lasting side effects from GVHD, further research needs to be done to prevent this when having a stem cell transplant, and ultimately the aim is to not need that treatment in the first place. I am glad to know this experience has enabled you to make changes in your life you wouldn't have necessarily made otherwise, and I hope these have been positive ones.