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About me and my leukaemia

“I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) on April 15, 2013. “I remember the date as I was diagnosed at the A&E department of the Queen's Hospital in Burton-on-Trent. “I had been suffering for days with agonising pain and swelling in my left leg and we finally decided that an early Monday morning visit to A&E was needed. “My husband, along with many of the medical professionals, were thinking along the lines of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – but I knew that it was something more serious. “I had felt awful for months – or even years – with bouts of fatigue, exceptionally bad headaches and a swollen stomach. “The hospital took lots of blood for testing and then sent me for an ultrasound on my leg to see if they could find the clot which was causing the swelling. “The clot was later found on my lungs – a pulmonary embolism – but that wasn't the end of the story. “It was my blood results which were the main concern. I had a white cell count of 286 – the 'normal' figure is usually between four and 11. “This exceptionally high cell count was backed up with a bone marrow biopsy which proved I had CML. “I spent the next 11 days at the Queen’s Hospital in Burton-on-Trent before being discharged with tablets to control my white cells - this tablet was Imatinib. “I have met many leukaemia patients who have been on Imatinib for years - it is a wonder drug for some people. “Unfortunately for me, this miracle drug only worked for around two months before my cell count started to rise. Thankfully, an eagle-eyed consultant at the hospital also noticed other signs in my blood which he wasn’t happy about. “Within days, I was seeing one of the top consultants at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham - a hospital which has remained the main focus of my care ever since. “On June 24, 2013, I was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. After weeks of intense chemotherapy, I was discharged on August 13. Now I needed a bone marrow donor . . .
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