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Hello from a 31-yr-old relapsed ALL patient now post-transplant

I've just dived in and replied to a couple of topics on the forums, so thought I should introduce myself, too. The title above sums it up, really; I was originally diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2005, underwent maintenance chemo but didn't have a transplant as none of my siblings were a match and on the balance of risks it was decided it wasn't worth it. I nearly had an autologous transplant, but the doctors couldn't harvest enough stem cells from me, so had long-term chemo instead, which finished in 2008.

In October 2013, I was diagnosed with a relapse, and a stem cell transplant became the target. My first phase of chemo (FLAG-IDA) unfortunately didn't get me into remission, but an antibodies trial (MARALL) did, so I'm now recovering from that. I've been lucky enough to have had huge support from friends and family, as well as a naturally positive attitude towards life (I don't think your life should be on pause just because you have cancer), and hope to be able to help others with my experience.

Good luck to everyone pre- or post-transplant on here, and of course an enormous thank you to donors – and Anthony Nolan.

George

Comments

  • Hi George and welcome to the forum.

    Like you I also had ALL but from day one the target was always to have a transplant as, being older than you, I was at a high risk of relapse. I had my transplant about 15 months ago and it has been relatively plain sailing since, though recovery for me has been slow.

    Your positive attitude towards life will also help, and is what I think helped me. Take each day as it comes and try not to let any set backs get you down.

    Please keep us updated with your progress. You'll find lots of support from those on here.

    All the best, Steve.
  • Steve – never thanked you for your kind welcome at the time... Better late than never – thank you!

    Am on Day +78 and all going relatively well; had started to wean off ciclosporin but mild GvHD emerged (which is what the docs were hoping for, in order to get the GvL possibility) so the dose has gone back up again.

    Getting pretty weary pretty quickly, but managing to put together some silly videos and blog posts to keep myself amused and encourage people to support Anthony Nolan and other charities.

    All the best
    George
  • Hi George.

    Good to hear that you are progressing well and are nearing the magic 100 day mark. I remember I felt particularly weary at about the same stage as you are now at, so I don't think it's unusual. Take your time and things will get better. Even now, 15 months post transplant I get weary easily.

    I probably started with my GvHD about the same time too. Mine affects my skin, making it very dry and irritable. Whilst it's an inconvenience I think it's possibly easier to deal with than some of the other types.

    Steve
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