Stay connected! Share and follow:

Leukaemia CARE Careline

We're here to talk | 24-hours a day

08088 010 444

FREE from landlines & most major mobile networks

Sadie Windmill

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Sadie_1

“I noticed a large lump in my neck that wouldn't go away, that's when I knew something wasn't quite right.”

Sadie Windmill was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia at the age of 42. She had been suffering with fatigue for quite some time but the discovery of a large lump in her neck triggered a visit to her doctors.

“I went to see my GP about the lumps in my neck, only to be told I had mumps…”

As time went on, Sadie started to notice things; tiredness like never before and frequent bleeding from her gums. “I was a woman who rarely visited the doctors, but was convinced it wasn't just mumps. My body felt different, unlike anything I’d experienced before.”

She went back to see her doctor who told her she had nothing to worry about and that the lumps were a direct result of left over scar tissue from the mumps. “My doctor told me to massage my neck daily and to gargle with lime juice to help reduce the swelling. Needless to say, this didn’t work.”

Adamant that something was being missed; Sadie approached a private consultant to get a second opinion. “I was immediately sent for blood tests and numerous scans to find out more. The lumps in my neck caused concern and an operation was arranged a few days later with a liquid biopsy planned to check for cancer.”

The results took about a month to come through as a mutation in her blood confused the diagnosis, prolonging the process. Sadie was called in to see the oncologist to discuss the results. “That's when it hit me, those three words that would change my life as I knew it. Mrs Windmill, you have cancer. I was diagnosed with CLL and was left feeling lost and afraid.”

Following her diagnosis, Sadie began a course of chemotherapy for six months. “Throughout the chemo I remained well and was luckily never sick. I believe it was down to the healthy lifestyle I adopted; I was partial to a bit of yoga.” She even managed a five-day walking holiday and later climbed Mount Snowdon.

“Right from the start, I had a goal. Once I finished all my treatment, I would sail around the world.” That's exactly what she’s done, given up work, rented out her house and set sail on an adventure of a lifetime with her husband and two dogs.

Sadie is currently in full remission, with routine checks twice a year. “Throughout my cancer journey I met some amazing people and learnt so much from them. Leukaemia CARE offered a great support unit with an excellent and informative website there whenever I needed it.”

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukaemia. It can affect people at any age but is more common in people over 55. Around 2,700 people are diagnosed with CLL each year in the UK and affects males more than females. (Source: Macmillan)

“My advice to anyone is; do not let GPs put you off. You know your body better than anyone. Have a personal mantra, mine was ‘I am fit, healthy and well’ and live life to the full, enjoy every minute.”