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World Blood Cancer Day 2015

Today, the 28th May is World Blood Cancer day. It is also exactly four months since my transplant!
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Seeing as today has double significance to me, I thought I really should break my bloggy silence and get back to it, give you all an update on how I am, and what I hope this day can bring to general awareness of blood cancers.

I actually wrote a piece similar to this on this day last year, and then used the day to appeal for people to join the stem cell registries. Even though I have so much more of a connection with the bone marrow transplants world mow, I want to focus this on something else. Awareness.

Let’s be completely honest, how many of you know the symptoms of blood cancer? I know I certainly didn’t before diagnosis, I just had a good bodily awareness thankfully. With someone diagnosed with a blood cancer every 20 minutes in the UK alone (that’s around Thirty THOUSAND people EVERY YEAR)

30,000 seems like quite a lot to me really. A mind bogglingly large amount of people for a country the size of Britain.

So let’s be aware, yes? That way we can protect ourselves and those we love, so that if awfully enough a blood cancer does occur, we have the skill set to spot and flag it up- giving that person the best chance of recovery.

Read these and remember them as symptoms. Of course if you do have one of these, the chances are it’s really not cancer.

Be aware of:

-Bruising easily                  -Persistent Fatigue

-Weight Loss                     -Fevers

-Repeated Infections       -Unexplained Bleeding

-Night Sweats

Now that I’ve said my piece, I can tell you how I am! In my opinion, I am doing well, despite some difficulties. As I said above, today is exactly 4 months since my transplant, AND my last day taking ciclosporin, the main immunosuppressive drug. This means that my transplant has fully grafted and that my (brand new) immune system can begin strengthening itself again! So a very exciting day!

I have had some problems, repeated dalliances with the CMV virus (an underlying virus, similar to the one that causes glandular fever and only causes problems when on immunosuppressive drugs) and some lung issues that have meant I’ve needed a bronchoscopy, plus a slightly swollen face…BUT I haven’t had any Graft versus Host Disease SO these are minor issues really. They’ve just meant I’ve spent more time in hospital than anticipated and hoped for.

My muscle strength has been improving, and I can now walk fair distances, which is reassuring. I’m planning for this summer and beyond now I’m beginning to feel a lot better…including plenty of restaurant visits (food is the topic of the next blog!)

Keep Smiling!

Emily

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