"How long would I have lived if I hadn't driven myself into hospital?" I asked.

"Maybe about another two or three weeks, it's hard to tell," my consultant replied.

That revelation was like a slap in the face. Everything else that was swirling around my mind; being a cancer patient, the length of time I would be in hospital, chemotherapy and its awful side effects, the fear of not achieving remission, all collapsed into a single moment of clarity - there was no choice but to start treatment.

That meeting took place in early December between my consultant, girlfriend Poppy, my parents and sister.

On reflection the early days were overwhelming. I was a fit and healthy 25-year-old, who doesn't smoke, has no history of cancer in the family and has a job I like. It was hard to understand why all this was happening and to comprehend the difficult times that lay ahead.

But now, after having completed my second cycle of chemotherapy, I am determined to get over this disease and reclaim my normal life as quickly as possible.

As part of this I thought writing a series of blogs for would help me keep in touch with the 'real world' that exists outside my ward.

But having talked to many people about leukaemia, and looking back on my own thoughts after being initially diagnosed, I think few know very little about the disease and the treatments that are associated with it.

In the following weekly blogs I thought I would share my experiences with you but also explain what leukaemia is, what chemotherapy is and how it works. I don't know why but I always imagined that some sort of machine is involved- it isn't by the way.

Most importantly I want to stress that these accounts are not all, 'Boo-hoo I've got leukaemia.' Despite many difficult times, unpleasant reactions to treatments and extreme illness, there have also been plenty of uplifting and genuinely funny moments.

Moreover, I'm now exceedingly confident I'm going to get out of this situation get back to my girlfriend, family and, of course, the mighty Examiner.

Lastly I have a confession to make: with a few exceptions I generally loath blogs. Who's really interested in a pet cat, someone buying new shoes or top tips on how to plant potatoes?

So, with that said, I just hope my blogs don't fall into the unacceptable category of really bloody boring.


Eh up, Sudders!

Nice to see your smiling face on the Examiner website. And an excellent hat, sir.

I was gutted to hear you were ill and I'm really chuffed for you that you're making good progress ... but there's absolutely no justification for using the word 'moreover'


Jenny xxx


Good stuff. Welcome back to the wonderful world of journalism :)



Can't wait to read more of your blog Adrian, it is far from boring or the "normal" boring drivle people think is important. I was brought up in Shelley and now live in Glasgow and have been keeping in touch with Hudders life via your paper's on line services. Well done on the web pages, I often thought they must have been designed by a younger dynamic person, I was right.

I have a friend Brian who was diagnosed with Secondary Colon cancer in November of last year. He too is only a young man, 31yrs old and he too had a great life and job he loved. He can't work and is having 3 weekly sessions of chemo. Just last week I had to travel to Huddersfield to see a friend I grew up with, who has just been diagnosed with Bowel cancer aged 44yrs.

I am trying to understand what they are going through but of course I can't fully ever understand that. However your blog is very important in helping people like my friends and their loved ones to have a better understanding. Much respect at your brave approach to your illness and all the very best of good luck for your future.

Dear Adrian,

Thought you must have gone to one of the big tabloids! Sorry to hear of your illness - hurry and get well - the world of journalism can't have too many true gents! Glad to see you have kept your wonderful smile, if not your hair!




At the risk of appearing to be nothing more than a proud Mum, may I commend this Blog to you? What has happened to Adie came out of the blue and could equally happen to anyone else - reading this or not reading this - cancer and especially Leukaemia, does not always hit the people in the most obvious risk categories. If Adrian is vulnerable, then so is everyone and I commend his commentary to you. We, of course, love him to the ends of the earth and wish him the speediest possible recovery. Your support - and we have seen the messages to Adie as well as those to me and his Dad - is massively appreciated. He is an absolute Star who will get the better of this horrible disease - but knowing you are on his side is a real boost to all of us.


The Sudbury Family

Hello :-)

To be honest im one of those people you talk about above who knows very little about your disease. However, i saw you in the paper (obviously) and although (again obviously) i dont know you i felt i had to write even though i too am not a keen 'blog goer!'.

My sister and I are running the London Marathon this year for Children with Leukeamia. Naturally your story sparked a few emotions for us as the training is incredibly 'challenging' for us at the moment! But reminding oursleves what we are doing it for keeps us running! :-) x

Hi Adrian

Glad to hear you're responding well to treatment and keeping positive. I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in July 2002 at the age of 39. I've now been in remission for 4 1/2 years and things are great.(touch wood) I have helped out the National Blood Sevice afew times with their campaigns and have been on The Pulse and Radio Leeds trying to recruit more donors,and I also support the Leukaemia Research charity. I'm going to their annual conference in April in Nottingham, the charity means so much to me and my family. My children were 7 and 9 when I was ill so it was difficult for my husband , but everyone rallied round and the support was fantastic. Believe me there is light at the end of the tunnel, you must stay positive and be patient, keep fighting !!!

Perhaps I could help you with a campaign to raise awareness of the illness when you are recovered.

If you want to know more please email me if I can do anything to help.

Kind regards

Judith Heppenstall

Good luck Sudders. I'm sure your positive attitude will help you pull through. Best wishes to all your family and Poppy too. Keep the blogs coming can't wait for the next one.


Hat goes on, hat goes off, hat goes on, hat goes it. Don't go thinking this gets you out of cleaning the bathroom though because it doesn't.

Your loving girlfriend,

The blog is looking good and so is your hair do.

We wish you all the best from everyone down in the Liverpool office. Look after yourself matey,



Thank you ever so much for everyone's kind comments. I hope the blogs are interesting and not all doom and gloom.

Obviously there have been difficult times and support like this really helps me out.

Good luck with the run Amy and thanks for your comments too Judith. It's great to know that everything can work out well. I would love to help with a campaign if I could.

Quite right Jenny, I too am ashamed of the use of the word moreover. It won't happen again,


Good to see you doing some work at last! Now get yourself well and get yourself back to Queen Street South and the sooner the better.

Sincere best wishes to you, your family and friends, and all those blog readers who are helped and/or touched by your words. I hope you are also helped and/or touched by their responses.

Hey hey Sudders! Loving the title, Baldy's Blog.

At least with this blog we won't have to keep badgering you about the medical updates - but that doesn't mean we won't be keeping in touch.

Take care,

Campers x

Hello Sudders,

Can you stop being ill and come back to work, please?

It's become boring here without you and I've resorted to taunting Barry about his questionable politics and unhealty diet.

If you're bored I can send you the Twin Peaks boxed set. There's about 27 hours of sublime TV and about eight more of mediocre TV. Dare I say it's better than 24. I don't know actually. I've never seen it.

Seriously, I wish you a speedy recovery and take comfort in the fact that some of finest human beings are bald!

Dave (Himmers)


You are a star! Great blog mate but I wasn't aware that you were even able to use a computer let-alone create something as complicated as this! Did you hae help by any chance!?

Anyway, I am, as always, in awe of your bravery and determination and I hope your better soon!

Lot's of love



Hi Adrian,

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this blog.

Working from my little office in Sheffield (my spare bedroom!) I'm a bit 'out of it' in terms of hearing how you're getting on so have only really been updated through emails & texts. I didn't really know much about your illness, so have found your blog very interesting. You've certainly opened my eyes.

You've also opened my eyes to blogs. I have to say I find many of them very pointless and haven't managed to get my head around all this 'blogging' lark. But this one has a point and a purpose. And what an excellent way to keep working. That's commitment for you - I'm sure the bosses will be very impressed! Well done Adrian - I look forward to reading your updates.

Keep smiling!

Julie x

Hey Ad,

Congratulations on a fantastic blog, really eye opening. I have to say that I think you pull off the baldy look very well!

I hope to get to see you very soon but unfortunately might not make it with Ant this time. Keep up the good work on the blog and I'll hopefully be up soon so you can take me out and throw a pint over me!

Loads of love,

Vicky (Swiatek's BETTER half)

Sir, very presumptuous of you to infer that there are folk who wouldn't be utterly fascinated to learn more about 'how to plant potatoes' !!

Handsome fighters never lose battles!!


Excellent idea to write this blog - we'll follow it as often as possible. Looking forward to meeting up with you again at the City Ground as soon as you feel up to it.

Very best wishes

Mike and Shona

Excellent stuff so far - looking forward to reading more!

Hi Andrian,

Just to drop u a words of pray from me n my boys from far away in Malaysia. GET WELL SOON! OUR PRAY WITH YOU!

~ct n boys~


Nice to see your ugly mug on the Examiner web site, keep askin Gavin and Roy about you. Football on Thursdays not the same without you and your footballing skills. When you come back playing, with all the extra crap inside you,I ask myself will it make you a better player when shootin,or a faster dribbler, the simple answer is NO.

Keep your chin up mate maybe we'll see you soon.

Steve (the oldest man playin football or tryin to. )

I had AML nearly 20 years ago at the age of 18, i understand exactly when you say you feel you have been smacked in the chops thats just how i felt and for a long time even after treatment i found it very hard to tell people that i had cancer, i didnt want to be labeled as a victim or tragic which of course now i realise people dont see that they see the opposite, a very brave, strong person because you have to be to cope with everything thats thrown at you along the way during treatment. i think you are fantastic to do the blog and allow people like me to openly share there stories something as i say i have never really been comfortable doing before, i was also told i would never have children but i have to say i proved them wrong and i now have a beautiful 2year old daughter, it is with thanks to prof Riley and his team twenty years ago that i have my life and my daughter, keep fighting, keep strong, and stay positive you are doing a fab job i wish you every sucess with your treatment and your blog.

Sarah Robinson

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for posting that comment. I'm also being treated by Prof Riley- he's been excellent to me too.

A few people have posted similar successful experiences and it's really helped me. I'm so pleased that you have been able to have a daughter. I don't know about you, but the high risk of being infertile is, for me, the most difficult thing to deal with. Your story has really given me a boost. Best wishes for you and your family.

Many thanks,


Hi Adrian,

Nice to hear from you outside the P3 setting.

Just confirms your starpatientship with us all.

See you soon xx

Hi AD,

This is something of a shameless plug but since finding out that AD had Leukaemia at Christmas I wanted to do something that would raise money for people like AD. So on Sunday 22nd April I am running the London Marathon for the Anthony Nolan Trust which supports and manages bone marrow donars for transplants. This is a fantastic charity and is entirely dependent apon donatons. If you already know me and haven't has a chance to sponsor me or if you would just like to help a great charity then you can go to Thanks for your support.

AD, the blogs are fantastic, keep them coming.


Ayup Sudders..Catch ere,

thought I may as well post a comment and pretend I like you!

Hope things are going as comfortably as possible for you, what's all this in How It All Began Part 2? "and dont drink excessively"! Dont believe that one! I didn't recognise you from the blog pics because I am used seeing you squinting through the bottom of a pint glass! Keep strong you ugly git, we all think of you often. PS Those pictures are fantastic, could you pass on the photographers name?

Hi Sudders,

Well done, mate...

Blogging definitely suits your friendly writing style! I've just been catching up on recent instalments and think you've struck just the right note - brutally honest, positive yet realistic but without labouring too much on the "doom and gloom" as someone else has already commented.

To read about your experiences over the last few months really puts my own problems and life's minor irritations into perspective. I'm genuinely moved by what I have read. But I'll leave it at that... a blubbing blog would start to get a bit messy.

Keep up the good work...

And see you soon for a beer!


Hope all is well. As an ex Sheffielder I sometimes read the Star which I have sent by a friend to S. Devon. I have read your story. I have a story also which happened when I was in my 30;s. I am now aged 52.If you are interested I am more than willing to share it. However I think there is a story which may both be of use and interest to you if you care to read it. It can be found on ( �� Cached page

Ian McCormack - Heaven Hell and the Box Jellyfish - Box Jellyfish)I have heard this man and many more speak of their events and have no reason not to belioeve them owing to my own experience Yours Sincerely. Keith.

Hello Adrian - I have read your articles and blog with interest. Thank you for raising the profile of our work and for pointing out how incredible unrelated donors are! As you know, we really do rely on a donor's willingness to help a stranger.

I really hope you don't mind me suggesting this but if any of your friends, colleagues, family or anyone reading this feel 'moved' by your positive outlook and inspirational approach (which I am sure everyone will) then maybe they would consider becoming a bone marrow donor and perhaps someday giving hope to another person in the same position?

We are really trying to recruit far more young donors and male I would urge people to please log onto our website, to find out more. There is also a chance that we may hold a special donor session locally in the near future.

All the very best with your transplant and I am sure your blog will inspire many people and also help many others in the same position.

Kind regards


National Donor Recruitment Manager, Anthony Nolan Trust

Hi Adrian,

Top article in the "Times". Hope this week's gone smoothly for you and you're back 100% a.s.a.p.

All the best

Paul Fisher (Wrexham)

Hi Adrian,

Watched the 5 news this evening and recognised P3and your Transplant coordinator.

I was treated for AML Sept 2004 having Sibling donor Dec 2004 and I am getting on fine, your getting the best care in the world the staff are so very very special good luck to you and will be watching for an update stay positive and focused.

Sincere wishes

Jennifer Matthews

Hi Adrian,

Very moved when I saw you on the news yesterday and quite shocked. My daughter was diagnosed with AML two years ago this August. Up until now have had no contact with anybody of your age group who has had this diagnosis. She was 19 at the time. Even the consultant she was under was amazed as it is such an old persons disease. So although it made my blood run cold I have to admit to being relieved that we were not the only family on this planet dealing with this devestating problem. Would love to know how your parents have coped. Could you pass on my e-mail address to your mother and maybe we could get in touch. Do not really want this posted but could find no other way of contacting you. Good luck with your continuing treatment!!!! xx

I saw your news story on the calendar news program, and I was touched by your plight. I admire your courage and determination. I lost one of my old school friends, Craig, to leukaemia, he died in 2001 at the age of 27.

When I saw you on the news, it brought it all back to me, the treatments, the waiting, the uncertainty of it all. I hope to and pray that you will beat the odds and survive, I really do. To watch one of your friends go through pain and suffering of this illness, and the treatment, is one of the worse things to experience.

I will hope and pray for you that you will survive.


I was shown your blog a little while ago by my partner who has CML! At the time, I knew what leukaemia was but I guess I didnt really understand it as I had never been close to anyone who had it.

Reading your blog and watching your video diaries as brought to life in a positive and very realistic way what leukaemia is about and what happens during treatment.

All I can say is the BIGGEST THANK YOU with all my heart for the good your blog and video diaries have done and achieved. Your a true example of optimism and positivity! I hope and pray you continue to get stronger and stronger.

Jason x

Hey, you may not get this because you'll be all big and famous now, but I just wanted to say how incredible you are. Your bravery has inspired me.

I always wanted to be a nurse, from when I was little. I saw my mum and what she did and I just wanted to be like her. Last year when I didn't get the grades I needed to get into Uni my dreams seemed to crumble around me. My confidence was crushed.

I went to college despite my fears of rejection and I've tried my hardest. Reading your story over the last couple of weeks has been such an eye opener. Now, more than ever, I am determined to meet my goal, make a difference in people's lives.

I applied to Stirling and have got an unconditional. It's people like you who truely encourage youngsters to achieve their goals. If you can fight your way back to a healthy living, we sure as anything can do what we can to conquer our fears and have more confidence in ourselves.

Thank you so much. It may seem a little silly to get to involved, but your story truely has had an impact on me and guarinteed others too :)



so sorry to hear that you have been so ill but it looks like you have a lot of people out there wishing you well.

i know that barbra and ken are fighting in your coner for you

so keep up the fight for all your friends

and family.

all my best barbra and kens window

cleaner simon


just saw you on calendar - wasn't really watching but as a rectal cancer patient I have an in built radar for the words "cancer", "chemotherapy", etc. Wishing you well, I found blogs the best way to get everything out, but it can be quite upsetting reading it back. Will read and watch the rest over the next 6 months - start more chemo on Monday urgh!


from poland with love

Good site!

such a brave person sorry things couldn't have been better for you hold your head up high and remember all the love you have given and those that love you.

Dear Adrian,

I have been very moved by your strong attitude in facing up to the fact that conventional treatments seem unlikely to halt the progression of the two types of leukaemia from which you are suffering. My younger brother died of the acute myelo-moncytic form of the disease 25 years ago after an initial remission had been achieved by bone marrow transplant. After that deeply distressing experience I kept my eyes and ears to the ground for alternative treatments.

This is to tell you about an interesting fact that I read in one of my vitamin books that I have at home, that even at this late stage might be of some help to you. It concerns a well-known natural substance called ROYAL JELLY, readily available from high street health food stores. I quote directly from page 349 of the the book ('The Doctor's Vitamin & Mineral Encyclopedia' by Sheldon Saul Hendler,(1990 edition)) as follows: "It has been hypothesized that the possible additional therapeutic factor in royal jelly might be a substance called 10-hydroxydec-2-enoic acid, as this is another major constituent of the jelly. One group reported that 'the injection of royal jelly or of 10-hydroxydec-2-enoic acid...affords complete protection against transplantable mouse leukaemia. I know of no follow-up to this finding."

It might be worth giving Royal Jelly a try even at this late stage.

For information, Sheldon Saul Hendler also says that royal jelly is a milky white gelatinous substance secreted in the salivary glands of worker beesfor the sole apparent purpose of stimulating the growth and development of queen bees.

If you're not allergic to bee products it might be worth a go.

All the very best


Hi Adrian

I saw you on Breakfast TV this morning and was very impressed by what you said and your attitude to this illness. LIke you, I was diagnosed in October 2007 with Leukaemia and after two courses of chemo and four months stay in hospital, I developed a blood clot and have had to change to having chemo injections at home which I give himself. However, I am still in remission. I would encourage everyone to join the bone marrow register, unfortunately my sister was not a match for me.

Best Wishes for the future.


with tears in my eyes, my sweet... I have had a 'regular' donor card in my purse for decades. Before it was ever fashionable. Always too lightweight, had an unidentifiable blood disorder in the '50s, have been told by the authorities here that I cannot donate blood (too long spent in the UK). Organs are OK. Is marrow an organ?

My children know that that is what I want to do. Any part of mine which can be used to help someone directly... and whatever is left over, let students practise on. They have to learn.

You are just so brave, I salute you...

I wish I could just hold you close and HUG you. So cyberhugs will have to do...

Take care

abi gassmann

hello my son is 16 he has aml and just has hie 3rd course of chemo ,we has just done i bone marrow clinic in warrington 95 people had samples taken , i find it hard to be strong sometimes for my son ,iam with him all the time .
i can not understand since 12 march when my son was told he had aml , iam shocked to find that in hospital there has been 9 young lads aged 16 that have got some types of leukaemia , sorry but i find this odd?


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This page contains a single entry by Adrian Sudbury published on March 28, 2007 12:00 PM.

How it all began (Part 2) is the next entry in this blog.

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