An extract from ‘The Leukaemia Diaries’

I have Lukemia? Or is it Leukemia….no…I think it’s Leukaemia…bugger it…I have cancer of the blood, and this is a documentary of my journey from just before being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), through the scary ‘I’m going to die’ bit, the joys of having bone marrow samples taken, chemotherapy, and then getting back to work and beyond.

I started writing this book because my wife said: “You really should write all this stuff down, it could help someone going through the same thing you are.” I guess what she meant by ‘all this stuff’, was all the experiences and emotions I was going through and the way I was coping with them. Initially, I thought it would be a bit egotistical of me to write a book on cancer. After all, what could I possibly have to say that would be worth listening to, never mind worth buying a book for? But as time passed, I found myself talking to more and more people who were either suffering from some form of cancer or who had someone close to them who was affected. I began to realise that my outlook on cancer was different and my way of dealing with it was equally as unique, so perhaps I did have something useful to say.

With the realisation that I had cancer, came the debilitating devastation that left me feeling so cold, scared and alone. I could have easily curled up into a ball and just given up, but I didn’t. Instead of letting the enormous task ahead overwhelm me, I did what I always do…I took baby steps and tackled my condition one step at a time. This gave me the strength to face each stage of my treatment with a smile on my face. Even in the darkest of times, I would always find something to laugh about (well, almost always). It wasn’t bravado or some attempt to look cool and it certainly wasn’t me ignoring the gravity of my situation. It was more instinctive. Over the years, I have trained myself not to waste time worrying. I see no point in the emotion; it serves no purpose and only succeeds in causing pain and anguish. The way I see it is, if something bad is on the horizon, you do all you can to prepare for it, then forget about it. If you’ve done all you can to prepare for it, will thinking about it every second of the day help? No, of course not. So why worry? Sounds simple I know, but with a little practice, it becomes second nature. That’s why I found I could cope with my leukaemia so well. I knew that the doctors were doing their best to help me, so all I had to do was take the medication and follow a few lifestyle instructions. Would worrying about what might happen help my situation? No.

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