7 Years a CML Patient
|These are cancer cells mooching about in a Leukaemia patients blood|
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, which is ironic as this was the month I was diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myloid Leukaemia), and similarly, yesterday told that I had to start taking my tablets again to keep this stupid disease at bay.
Last night as my husband was on nights, I decided to have my own personal pity party, and drank a bottle of wine, I actually didn't feel that pitiful last night, this morning however, my headache say it all.
I was off my chemotherapy (because that's what my tablets are) from April to September. It was lovely, my nails grew, the ache in my bones lessened, my hair got thicker, I had more energy, my stomach issues improved and the constant breathlessness stopped.
Now, I have all that to look forward to, although it may be less than before, as I have arranged to take a smaller dose, which is now half the standard dose taken by someone initially diagnosed with CML, so I am quietly optimistic the side effects will be considerably less.
I am also hoping that if my response is as good as it was last time I could reduce my dose to the lowest dose of Dasatanib that they do, because if I can keep it at bay with the lest amount of drugs, my body has a decent chance of having less negative reactions.
I have been diagnosed with this disease now for 7 years, I have blogged about it on numerous occasions here, here and here are but a few.
I have suffered severe panic attacks in social situations, fluid on my lungs, and constant feelings of breathlessness, but these things are nothing really.
I blog about my disease, partly to get things off my chest, partly to raise awareness, but also to talk about how brilliant the medicine is.
I know what I said at the top of this blog, but remember, mine is not traditional Chemo, It is one of the new drugs. I haven't lost my hair (it got a bit thin), it doesn't make me sick (just some slight nausea from time to time), I carried on working full time for 6 of those 7 years. 20 years ago, I wouldn't of been here now, the disease would have killed me about 4 years ago. I'm lucky.
When I go for my regularly blood tests, I see properly sick people, people who are so thin, I am amazed they can walk, people so white and sick looking, with no hair, people with sores and bandages, people of all creeds, colours and age, people attached to machines drip feeding them the poison that kills the cancer cells but severely damages them as well. It is a great leveller and reminder of how fortunate I really am.
Ward 19 at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham is massively busy every time I go. It's nurses and doctors do an amazing job.
Yes, you have to wait for ages, but I'm used to it and I go prepared, they put up with people moaning and complaining, when all they want to do is help.
So the point of today's blog is to gently ask you to donate whatever you can afford to any of the great charities who help and support people with blood cancer.
If you are not sure if you want to donate, here are some fun facts that might persuade you.
Blood cancers are the third biggest cancer killers claiming more lives than breast and prostate cancers
Blood cancers are the fifth most common cancer
If you donate you are helping to fund 1000 researchers working on 200 projects relating to cancer
Here are a few links:
Leukaemia and Myeloma Research
There are many more if you want to google it.
And finally, Thank You, some one like you donated money that meant I could have these drugs that keep me alive.