Patient Perspective – Staying positive

Vickie, our resident patient blogger, is back with her next blog. On Blue Monday, she’s talking about how she stays positive, and what advice she has for other leukaemia patients.

It is hard after Christmas, starting a new year, not knowing what the year has in store for you. If you can make a few plans, whether it be walking, a meet up, a coffee etc, that’s a good start. I like to have plans as it is something to look forward to. Not all plans go according to plan, but you can always rearrange them and stay positive.

I understand not everyone can book holidays due to ill health issues, but if you could even plan a few things in the year, that would be a positive. I have a few holidays, trips away in my caravan in the UK. It gives me something to look forward to.

I enjoy going out as well, so whenever I can, I arrange meet ups with my friends or family. We chat about anything over a coffee, which is great. At the moment, me and my friends are into Game of Thrones, so we meet up and watch an episode together, which we then love discussing.

I have two children as well, so days out to the park are another thing I look forward to. Spending quality time with people.

I also enjoy walks, as they clear my mind. Plus, it’s a bit of exercise, after all the chocolate I’ve eaten over Christmas! The walking gets rid of the calories I gained.

One of my goals this year is to go to college and resit my GCSE English. Another is to be healthier; eat more fruit and do home cooking from scratch, using healthy ingredients. Also, getting my children involved.

Everyone suffers different with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), so your goals will be different dependent on what you can do. I suffer with bad cramps and muscle joint pains, so whatever I do, I cannot push myself to the point of being in pain with my cramps. You have to work around yourself and what is achievable. What would you like to do?

Anything is possible, as long as you look after yourself. Eating healthy and looking after yourself will contribute to your health.

Be realistic with time. You cannot expect to become a pilot within a day, so be logical with any goals you have, and set a time you think you can do. It might take longer, but be positive and carry on.

Also, achieve your goal. It could be anything from walking 10 miles to climbing Mount Snowdon. You could want a career. You may want to resit your GCSEs but not want a career from it. I have a diploma in cartooning but that wasn’t for a career, it was for myself. I have a diploma in landscaping, again that isn’t for a career, it is for me. I chose to study them out of interest and to be knowledgeable.

Everyone has a goal they would like to achieve and to do it is a great start.

One day, I hope to swim with a great white shark. That is something I have always dreamt of. One day, I will do it, no matter how old I will be.

So be positive, if you have a bad day. Don’t stress. Retry the next day.