Reaction (Part 4)


Leukaemia is an emotive word.

Like cancer it is so emotionally charged that you hope its diagnosis is something you never have to tell your girlfriend or parents.

I think we were all braced for the news but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

It really upset my parents. One image that will always stay with me is seeing in my mum and dad's bedroom the kettle and tea pot, a clear sign of many sleepless nights worrying.

Personally it was difficult but I knew I could focus my thoughts on fighting the disease and striving to cope with the treatment.

For my girlfriend, family and friends, all they can do is support me and that is it. Something I have learnt is that in many ways it is more difficult for people around you who are unable to do anything. I would hate it if it was one of them lying here rather than me. All I have to do is lie back and let the medical team pour chemicals into me.

Poppy, my girlfriend, works full time as an engineer then comes to the hospital to see me for two hours at night. She would never dream of not visiting but it's exhausting for her.

This might sound strange but I found the risk of being rendered infertile far more difficult to cope with than dying.

Chemotherapy used to treat Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is strong stuff. As well as hair loss there is also a very high risk of being left permanently sterile.

Having a family is something that has always been very important to me, and my girlfriend, so this news was devastating. I was so upset that I had to see a counsellor. I haven't cried since my grandma's funeral but I couldn't stop the tears streaming out.

Thankfully talking about my worries really helped me.

There was so much to take in - including a trip to the fertility wing to give a sample. Trust me, I was so ill at this stage that it was the last thing I wanted to do. Because I was poorly I had to be pushed over to the department in a wheel chair by one of the nurses. Then I was handed my pot.

After it was all over I turned to the nurse and said: "Well this is socially awkward." She just smiled and told me that it's no big deal for them. A sense of normality made the whole situation feel far less degrading.

When I returned to my bed there was a package waiting for me. I opened it to find a portable DVD player from my friends at work and the lads I played football with. That present would turn out to be a real God send. The reaction of all my friends was like this, just incredible, and I would like to say how grateful I am for everything they have done for me.


Pity the dvd player didn't make an appearance before the ahem, sample? coulda been useful ;)

Dear Adie

I am slowly moving towards the age of blog, a bit of a struggle, but would like to add my thoughts to your bloggy stuff. Firstly - how well you write. Secondly this is a great way to help other people facing similar challenges.

Most importantly it bears out my loathing of people being described (often by the press!) as cancer victims. It takes pure courage to make any sense of what you're going through and even more guts to share it. I have worked alongside cancer patients for 17 years and believe me you have reminded what wonderful and remarkable people you get to know. You clearly have zillions of people rooting for you - add me to the list.

Much love, Meriel


Excellent to see you are back at the keyboard and filing copy again - a very welcome return. It seems Her Majesty's press and much of her public are right behind you.

Congratulations on the way you have approached the blog - brutal honesty is exactly what is needed. I am enjoying each and every word however hard it is to read at times - not because of sloppy copy but because we want you well. Of course throwing a few of a former Examiner hack's famous clich��s and puns in there for good measure would surely raise a smile at QSS - and Peterborough I imagine.

So, get well or I'll kick your head in. Then we can resume where we left off - surrounded by dirty hacks in some Canary Wharf boozer supping ale I think it was ...

All the best,


Hi Ad, it's Helen! Thanks for a top night in this week - bring on the empty calories!! So great to see you again after our previous less succesful attempts. I'll be in touch soon to catch up properly, but I just wanted to say (for the record) that you are a great writer and very good at what you do. You made me cry! And hello Pops too - hope you're both enjoying this time off and making the most of it in the sunshine! Stay away from those dogs... Lots of love, Hxx

Ps - photo a bit misleading nowadays - you've got more hair than Toby!!

And now I've just remembered what I MEANT to say - honestly, I've the memory span of a small goldfish. This isn't for you but for all your readers who might not know you fully yet.

When Ad first went into hospital, I did too, but for a much more mundane broken leg. And every time that I rang from my sofa to his hospital bed, the first thing Ad would ask was 'How is your leg?' And I think that just sums him up - with all the uncertainty and pain in his life at that time, his first question was always for my well-being, not about his.

That's all now - unaccustomed Keron emotion! Must go and take a cold bath...

Hey Shades,

I'm so glad that you're staying positive. I must admit that I was stunned when I found out about your illness but I just want to say how very proud we all are of you. It takes tremendous strength of character to face something like this head on, but if there ever was one man for the job....

I'd also like to apologise for Tom's misuse of an apostrophe in his comments. I am thoroughly ashamed. You'd never guess his grilfriend was a teacher. I shall be setting him some exercises.

By the way, did I ever tell you that I nearly met Five??????

Maybe I'll tell you all about it sometime.

Lots of love, from me and Mrs Pinks,

Zoey xxxxx

Hi Adrian

Now that I know what a Blog is, I thought that I would add my good wishes to the many others that you have received.

The story of your experience is of great value to others and your very positive account will help them to face the unknown with hope and courage. Keep eating the broccoli and spinach and by the way on the subject of vegetables....when you are as old as me you will be grateful for tips on growing potatoes!! I have just spent all afternoon planting vegetable seeds and seeing them grow is what you can look forward to when you retire. Sorry Adie but there is nothing like digging up a forkful of fresh new ask your Dad!!!

Love Jamie

Hi Adrian,

Your Mum and Dad will have told you that we e-mail them with messages for you. Your Dad is going to ring me later this week.

Just to let you know that we are rooting for you over here in the North West !!!

We have been made aware of your blog will keep a careful eye out for that.

I hope my old mate Akkie (Neil) is keeping in touch . Tell him I've been asking after him !

Love from Andy,Anne, Tom and Harry

Hey AD, sorry to hear that you're ill and apologies that it takes something like this to get me to get in touch! With descriptions like "a really nice, fun loving and superb individual who is genuinely one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure to meet", it doesn't sound like you've changed much over the years from "nice guy AD" of physiology days. Hope your better soon mate and best wishes to Poppy and your family too.

Mark and Sonya

P.S. Sonya is now a primary school teacher and apparently ���moreover" is a level 5 connective, and that sounds like good work to me!

Your blog struck a chord with me ... not just that I come from Huddersfield too, and still come back there a lot... not just that I'm a journalist too (I used to work on the Evening Post in Leeds) ... not even just that you're the same age as my son ... but mainly because I went through all that you are going through. I had a bone marrow transplant at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

But - and this is the point - that was nearly ten years ago. You have a good 20 year start on me, since I was in my late 40s at the time. Now, nobody at the hospital ever uses the word 'cured' to me, but that's what I feel like - I go skiing, I go to the gym, and I'm getting married (again) in about three weeks' time. The one thing my consultant said I shouldn't do is parachuting - so I gave him a photo of myself from my last skiing holiday, paragliding down with an instructor.

A lot has changed about bmt's since I had mine, but I'm certain one thing is the same ... for the rest of your life, you'll hear about people going through what you're going through now, and you'll feel as deeply as anything you've ever felt that you're on their side, and you want them to be OK. that's how I feel, mate ... I don't do prayers, but you've got such strong good wishes from me and from loads of other people that you should be able to bloody feel them.

One other thing ... what you'll want now is just to be better, to be back to the way you were. Well believe me, pal, you end up better than the way you were, in all sorts of different ways.

Good luck, Adrian. Be strong, mate. There are more people sending good wishes, positive thoughts, prayers, whatever you want to call them to you - and your parents, and your girlfriend - than you can possibly dream.

Here is good website!!! I will introduce it to my friends... Please, introduce my site to your friends :)

Hello, sorry to hear about what you are going through at the moment ... as a former heamatology nurse i can truthfully say there is life (and patients used to tell me sometimes a better life than before) on the other side of treatment.

It's not good form to hijack your blog, but i came across it while searching for andy taylor who has also commented on your blog, a guy who i met while working on 5e in oxford. Owing to a complicated set of circumstances, he came to my mind and i thought i would just look for him to see how he is doing now, and i just wanted to say hello andy! and also good luck to you adrian

Karen redford (nee sanger)

Hi dude! Thanks . I will forward this link to all my friends interested in this subject! and very creative : and else and else
. Regards

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Adrian Sudbury published on April 4, 2007 12:00 PM.

Diagnosis (Part 3) was the previous entry in this blog.

What is leukaemia? (Part 5) is the next entry in this blog.

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