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Julie Platt

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Julie Platt

I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in March 2000 after suffering from some flu-like symptoms over a period of a few weeks. It was a devastating blow and came as a shock to all my family and friends as I had no health problems. Also, the diagnosis came six weeks before my wedding, which had to be cancelled. It was particularly difficult for my mum as she lives in America. 

I was treated with five courses of combination chemotherapy.  After the first course, I was struck with septicaemia, which was touch and go for a few days. My first month in hospital was pretty gruelling.  On 1st May 2000 I was given the good news that my leukaemia was in remission. 

Going through leukaemia, and spending so much time in hospital, is something that’s full of ups and downs, highs and lows. On a bad day, you don't feel good, you feel lethargic and low in mood. On good days, your spirits are high and you just want to get on and get through your treatment.

I learnt how to adopt a positive mental attitude and I still believe to this day that is what got me through the bad days. At first, I was terrified of the chemotherapy, but I learnt how to look at the chemotherapy as ‘the good stuff that makes the bad stuff go away’ and, amazingly, I was never physically ill with the chemotherapy. However, I did contract some infections along the way, but they were treated by my amazing oncology team. 

I didn't receive any support from any cancer charities during my time in hospital as it wasn't made available to me by the hospital. I didn't even realise you could get support as I think back then it was something you had to go looking for.  I think it's different nowadays. 

On 1st September 2000, I was discharged as an inpatient and was closely monitored for a few years after this. 

Then, in 2005, I gave birth to my daughter, whose second name was given as ‘Hope’, as when I was going through my treatment I had a lot of time to think about my future and wonder if I’d ever become a mum. I never gave up hope.  

This year, it will be 17 years since I was diagnosed. I have been in clear remission since my treatment finished. I don't look at it as 17 years since I was ill, I look at it as 17 years since I got well.