By Chris, Chronic myeloid leukemia, Australia, February 25, 2021

In July 2020 I was admitted to hospital in terrible pain coming from my back! After CT scans it showed I had 3 bulging discs.Obviously routine blood tests were taken and only 48hrs after I was admitted a haematolohgist came to see me.

It was 10.30am on a Sunday morning and I was on my own in my room. He told me I had Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and gave me an information booklet. Knowing leukaemia was a blood cancer and not a good diagnosis. I asked him 'How long have I got?' He explained that treatment had been available since 2001 and that most people on treatment were still alive! So that brought me to my second question 'What about my quality of life?' He was honest and said well everyone is different with how their bodies cope with the drugs. So side effects are different for everyone.

He explained he would be starting me on Dasatinib and the worst side effects were that its possible to affect your heart and lungs so that I would be very closely monitored by a cardiologist. 

The first month I took 100mgs a day responded really well so dropped to 50mgs a day. So far I am meeting all my milestones and hope to be undetectable at my next appt with the haematologist in April.

The first 6 months of treatment was tough with nausea and fatigue but the last couple of months have been better. It was a mental battle coming to terms with my diagnosis too and I had some dark days. Now Im starting to feel more confident but Im still very aware my body could stop responding to treatment at any time but that there are 4 other drugs that could help me! Nasty possible side effects are always at the back of my mind.

Having said all that Im feeling very thankful and very optimistic for the future!!!

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