Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Hello world!!!

First time blogging, so forgive stylistic errors and the such.

Thought a while about this and in the end decided "why not?" - it's clearly a very personal thing but at the same time I figure it will be cathartic for me to capture mad ramblings but also may provide useful information for others as I intend to capture useful links (somehow, probably a "Resources" label) to share and as I intend to get over this, it could be useful/interesting to read back on.

So, my name's Chris - coming up to my 38th birthday and until 3 weeks ago in pretty reasonable physical fitness, non-smoker, very light drinker and eating as healthily as you can as an office worker when all of a sudden an ailment strikes that eventually (but very quickly) gets diagnosed as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL - and you can probably tell by now from my spelling that I'm British ;-) )

Starting this blog and looking back on events to date, it's all been a bit of a whirlwind.

What started off with what I thought was muscular pain from over exertion at the gym but when initial pain killers didn't work and the pain was getting worse I had to take myself off to the local A&E one weekend for some help, that was 14th Feb.

The doctor there gave me something else and a diagnostic based on the best of his ability and the equipment to hand but the key thing he said was to follow up with GP on 17th who critically scheduled blood tests for the 24th Feb.

Reflecting at this point, I guess diagnosis had been pretty slow (considering the seriousness of the underlying ailment - but hey, who suspects leukaemia in an otherwise healthy bloke as an initial diagnosis?!) but from that point on I have been stunned and awed by the efficiency of our beloved NHS.

Something must have "red-flagged" me in the system as I heard the next morning that I had to get over to the local major hospital (Wexham Park in Slough) - I am eternally grateful to the unknown skilled analyst behind the scenes who spotted the problem and obviously made the appropriate notifications.

More tests were conducted there in the afternoon, sent over to Oxford (John Radcliffe) and by about 19:00 that same day (25th) my condition was confirmed and presented.

Thursday we started organising ourselves and Friday 27th February I was admitted to John Radcliffe!

I've since been discharged as an in-patient and am on sick-leave at home but treatment is intensive and frequent hospital visits are required, this is the start of a long journey...


  1. Been here Chris.Got the T-Shirt also...honest...see my profile :-).I was diagnosed with Chronic leukaemia at the age of 40 (3 years ago...almost!).I had no idea about it, and it certainly came in "under my radar" that is for sure.I had been to my GP with symptoms of feeling tired,a bit of stomach colour etc.My Doc in the first instance sent me for a blood test because he was worried about a lump in my "nether region".....and when the ultrasound came back clear i thought i was home free......never expected the next surprising revelation.Keep strong mate, it sounds like you have a great family, and they will help you through this i am sure.As my Leukaemia is (hopefully!) a lot slower to kick in than yours was, i am using my time to try and make a difference, hence my webpage,mad trips around Europe etc.....keeps my mind focused :-)
    Best wishes.Andy

  2. Hey Andy - sorry for the delay, been busy with family and catching up now with e-mails in front of the TV...

    Utmost admiration for the way you're handling the situation - it must be quite strange having the chronic form, in a way I feel lucky to be "acute" in that things happen pretty rapidly; treatment, progress and eventually cure (I'm looking to keep mentally positive and avoid words like should and hopefully!)

    Good luck with your treatment, it sounds like you too have an amazing network of friends and family to support you - I know I would be lost without mine.

    I certainly want to promote the use of cord blood at the end of all of this and will contact Terrie. In case you hadn't seen, I stumbled across this piece in The Guardian the other day

    Here's looking to more effective treatments in the future then!

    All the very best,