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Zoe Conway

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Zoe Conway
  • Zoe Conway 2

My name is Zoe Conway and I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in October 2015.

I had very mild symptoms, which put me off going to the doctors as I always had something to 'cover up' what it really was. It started off with cold-like symptoms (everyone gets a cold, why would I be worried?). Then it progressed into intense headaches every day for two weeks (I had just started a new job and worked in front of a computer, so I thought I must need new glasses from straining my eyes).

I also had shortness of breath even from simple tasks, such as walking up a flight of stairs (my new job was in London so my body was just adjusting to the city life), and my last but also vital indicator was bruises all over me (I'm your typical young girl who is a little clumsy, especially after a few wines on the weekend). All of these symptoms I very easily brushed under the carpet and tried to get over them.

This was until one morning I woke with black spots in my eyes and my head actually pulsating in pain. That's when I bit the bullet and booked an appointment with my GP. From there, she did all the usual checks, but decided to look into my eyes. This is where she saw blood haemorrhages and sent me for an emergency appointment at my local hospital.

From then, many blood tests were taken, and I was admitted to then be told by an on-call doctor that I had leukaemia and was immediately rushed to St. George’s Hospital.

From that day, October 1st 2015, I was then kept in hospital for two months and put on a high dose of chemotherapy. I was later to go through radiotherapy and then a bone marrow transplant. I'm in remission but still have to have weekly appointments at St. George’s and treatment every two weeks at Guys Hospital.

I hope my story may help anyone feeling not themselves to not feel silly for going to the doctors about a headache or generally feeling run down, and to not ignore the warnings your body is giving you.