Back in April this year I had been feeling ill with flu like symptoms and after having a week off work, spending most of it in bed, on the next Monday I decided to go to the doctors. I’m never ill, well the old me never was! I knew something wasn’t right but thought I’d got a virus or something! I saw the nurse practitioner after discussing my symptoms she gave me antibiotics suggesting an upper urinary tract infection. I was happy with that as a lot of my symptoms fitted it! She also asked me to go and have my bloods done just to see if anything would show up. I nearly didn’t go as I didn’t think I had anything serious and all I wanted to do was go back to bed but something made me go. I had my blood taken then went home and back to bed for the rest of the day.
At 7pm my phone rang, it was a private number, I nearly didn’t answer it, it was my GP! I’ll never forget that conversation!
“Hello Anna, Its Dr ??? here…how are you feeling?”
“Pretty rough” I replied.
“Are you on your own?” At this question my mind is racing as it begins to sink in that this is my GP ringing me at 7 o’clock at night!
“Err no…my husband and daughter are downstairs” I said.
“You had a blood test today and there is something wrong with your blood so I need you to go to hospital straight away” he explained “I will call an ambulance but if your husband is able to take you it would be quicker” I randomly blurted out that my hair needed washing….I hadn’t washed it for days and used to wash it every day!
At this point I am getting out of bed as he tells me to pack some things as I will be admitted and it will be staying in. He told me to go to Lincoln hospital which is a 45 minute drive away…..it was the longest journey of my life!
When I told my husband he needed to take me to hospital my daughter started to cry but he managed to calm her down while I called my parents and asked them to come and look after her. I sat on the stairs while my husband packed random things for me. I remember thinking ‘I’ve got a Santa nightie on’ but didn’t really care as I felt so ill!
When I got to the hospital they were waiting for me and as soon as I was admitted lots of bloods were taken and IV antibiotics started….even at this point never in a million years did I think cancer!!
I remember, when my mum was trying to push my wheelchair over the kerb at the hospital entrance, (my husband had gone to park the car) that a young lad came over to help us and that was the first act of kindness from a stranger that I was to experience! Bless him whoever he was.
That night the nurses were in constant touch with the consultant and said they were treating me for sepsis which seemed feasible. I was also given fluids to protect my kidneys. I still didn’t get the seriousness of it all!
The next morning I had a bone marrow sample taken and even then cancer didn’t cross my mind…not me! A couple of hours later one of my consultants came into my room and just started explaining about the blood and how its normally produced in the body, she then explained about how my blood was acting and that I had AML! My husband started crying but I was shocked and numb! What the hell is Leukemia anyway?!? She then went on to tell me about the intense treatment I would have to endure to give me the best chance or survival! I would have to stay in hospital for a at least a month at a time – OMG this is serious stuff….yet still it was like I was having an out of body experience!
This was the start of my journey which had been so tough, emotional, painful, shocking, sad, eye opening…….hard to put into words!! Even now I sometimes think…..did all that happen to me, or was it all a very bad dream!!!!!
I took this picture the day before I was rushed into hospital!!