My Cancer journey
At the end of March 2012, I visited the dentist with a case of severe mouth ulcers and he informed me that it was an infection and he prescribed me with a course of antibiotics. After finishing the antibiotics my ulcers reoccurred and I returned to the dentist....I was told by him that it was due to my lack of oral hygiene and gave me a lecture that It was my fault for going out socially drinking and smoking. Isn't that what most 19 year old's do? Apparently not! After my mouth ulcers I then suffered with sore eyes where I couldn't look at light and had to stupidly wear sun glasses indoors. Really I just wanted to start a new fashion trend. The diagnosis I gave myself for have sore eyes was down to being allergic to eyelash glue as we all know what it's like when you can first go down town and want your lashes to flutter on nights out partying at the weekends. 
After a crazy night of partying, me and the girls decided to grab some hangover grub and while sitting in the car at the McDonalds drive thru, I noticied that a bit of my gum was a purplish colour and looked bruised. It was only a little bit so I decided to ignore it, until the next day it progressed and after using google as a symptom checker...(we all do this don't we?)
 I diagnosed myself with gum disease so booked a dentist appointment asap. At my check up my dentist gave me the usual lecture and he suggested it was a gum infection so booked me an appointment with the hygienist to have my gums cleaned. I booked in with the hygienist for the next week and she cleaned my gums..well attempted to. Half way through she had to stop as they were so inflamed and bleeding a lot. She sent me home and told me to book another appointment with her. The bleeding of my gums continued until late that evening, I had 2 jobs at the time and couldn't go to my evening job due to the excessive pain and bleeding. One evening my glands were inflamed and my mum had an instinct that something wasn't right so booked me a doctors appointment the following day. After checking me and feeling my glands she suggested I had glandular fever and to return the next day for a blood test to confirm. I was pretty scared at the time as my friend Kath was really poorly with it. I had a blood test taken the next day and my doctor phoned me that evening telling me to go to the hospital ASAP.
 From then my life changed forever.I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on 23rd May 2012. My instant thought was OMG i'm going to die! I never had anything wrong with me before.
I packed a overnight bag and was told to go right to the hospital as there was a bed available for me. Me, mum and dad drove up, luckily we only live 5 min drive away from our local hospital. When we arrived, I was taken into a hospital room with a bed and lots of doctors came in and told us they didn't know how aggressive the leukaemia was just that I would not be going home for a long while..when they said long I wasn't expecting 8 months! I was told that I would need to have chemotherapy, my hair would fall out and could possibly lose my fertility. At that point it was still a blur to me and everyone including myself were crying and still in shock. I had so many things running through my mind. 
what was chemotherapy? would I die? why me? how did i get this? what am i going to tell my friends? 
The doctors told me that my cancer was treatable and they have treated it in the past they were just unsure how high risk the cancer was. They told me that I would need three rounds of chemotherapy to clear the cancer. (That wasn't quite the case.) I started my first round of chemotherapy after 2 days in hospital. It made me feel horribly sick but luckily anti sick drugs worked wonders. I was told that I was really lucky to go to the doctors when I did as I showed clear signs for months. Mouth ulcers, bruising gums, tiredness, bruising, sore eyes, bleeding. I just never thought it would result in being diagnosed with cancer. 
This photo was taken a few days after I was diagnosed and even then I was still smiling.
I had lots of thoughts running through my head and one I couldn't stop thinking about was the fact that my hair was going to fall out. I said to my mum that if I was going to loose my hair, I want it cut really short first so it wasn't as a huge shock from having really long hair to being completely bald.
Here is a photo of my lovely blonde locks.
 Weird to think that I  had cancer when this photo was taken and didn't have a clue!

My hairdresser who is luckily my best friends sister came in to cut off my hair. I hated it as  i thought it looked really stupid, but looking back I think this was because I never cut my hair short before. I didn't let my hair bother me too much. 
Having chemotherapy meant that my immune system would be dampened and I was easily prone to catching infections, due to this I had to stay in an isolated room with a constant pressure fan meaning that any germs that came into my room were blown away out of the door way. Unfortunately this meant I could only have 4 chosen visitors that were allowed to enter my room, these special chosen four were my mum, nan, dad and best friend Kate.The one thing I found hard was that I didn't have a toilet in my room, I had to use a commode and had to body wash using a sink. This was the worst thing out of my whole experience. Having told you have cancer is bad but then being isolated in a room and not having a toilet, that wasn't normal. I kept positive throughout and didn't let it bother me too much. I was lucky to be allowed home for a week at a time between treatments and I spent a lot of this time with friends and family.

Family meals 
First cuddles with my Niece 
Fun with my Girls 
 I responded to the first round of chemotherapy really well and went into remission after the first round..this was great news. I then went home for a few weeks to let my blood  counts to recover (blood, white cells etc). Unfortunately a big, shitty bombshell was dropped and I was told that my chemotherapy wasn't as successful as we all thought and the cancer fought it's little way back into my blood cells! 
This confirmed that I had a really aggressive form of cancer. The consultants and doctors then had to plan another route to cure my cancer and I had a crazy journey ahead. They decided to go down the stem cell transplant route. It was a huge shock as consultants informed me that the transplant route was the very last option for treatment. I  thought that anyone could give me a transplant but it wasn't that easy. When looking for a stem cell donor firstly your siblings are tested to see if they are a match. I have a brother who was 16 now 19 and a sister who was 8 now 11. They said my sister was too young but they tested my brother and THANK GOD HE WAS A PERFECT MATCH. Me and my family were not expecting this amazing news at all as doctors told us there is was only a 1 in 4 chance of a sibling being a match! They said you could have 10 children and they could not be a match! I felt very very lucky. If he was not a match I would have had an unrelated donor and the success rate can be different. Before preparing for my transplant I had 2 final rounds of chemotherapy. 

Preparation for my transplant took a few weeks. I had lots and lots of tests on my organs to see if I was in a healthy enough state as the treatment would 100% damage my organs so we had to make sure they were all 100% healthy before blasting them with radiotherapy. I also had a number of scans  then given a  very high dose of chemotherapy and total body radiation which completely wiped me out! (this killed my bone marrow) I had 9 minutes of TBI twice a day for 3 days and on my final day was when I had my brothers cells transfused in me to rescue me (very confusing but I will blog in detail) the transplant process was very successful. I then had to stay isolated and recover. It took a few weeks for my brothers cells to start to work. weird i now have my brothers blood cells keeping me alive so he did literally save my life. I cannot thank him enough. 
Now I take each day as it comes, I have monthly blood tests to check that my blood is clear of Leukaemia and I have no infections.



  1. That must’ve been hard to you. But never lose hope. The journey might be difficult, but always remember that your family is there to support you. The love that is radiating from them can help make your condition easy to bear. I know you can do it!

    Waylon Buser @ US Healthworks

  2. Thank you Waylon. I have so much love and support from my family. I will never loose hope and am so grateful for every day I am here. :)