Emma’s Story

Monday 17th March –
Today I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APML ) I am 19 years old.

Sunday 16th March –
I went for my blood tests and although I was initially told they would send my results to my GP for Thursday, the doctor said I should have the results by the afternoon and I would receive a call if there was anything unusual. Mum received a call about 1pm asking me to go in saying they’d found something in my blood but wanted to discuss it with me. I was informed that there were some abnormalities in my blood and I had a low blood count in all 3 of the major cells that make up our blood, white cells, red cells and platelets. I was admitted to a private side room on Lillybrook.

Monday 17th March –
I was taken to my new ward, called Rendcomb side rooms where things started to piece together as we followed all the signs for Oncology, but of course nothing had been said yet. In the new ward my room is much better with all the same amenities and a plasma TV with digital, DVD player, a fridge and a CD player! Very VIP!

When I reached the ward mum and my friend Emma were waiting for me but this room has a vacuum to keep the air positive and the germs out because of my low immune system, so they had to take their outside clothing off and leave any flowers and bits they bought for me and have a wash up! Dr Chown sat us down and explained about the malignant cells in my blood. She asked if I had any ideas about what this could mean and explained to me that it was leukaemia. She told me about the type I have and how rare it is, she also talked about my treatment and how high my chances are.

I had my obs taken again and was given some fluids and antibotics, I was also started on ATRA(all-trans-retinoic acid), one of my leukaemias killing drugs, just a small pill that targets my cells where they mutate in my bone marrow to stop my body producing any more malignant cells. Then I was left to rest for the night and talk to my family.

This is an extract from the diary of 20 year old Emma who was 19 when she started her treatment. This story has a happy ending as Emma is now in remission and got married this year.

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