Ann Hope

Ann had been feeling generally unwell, suffering from throat infections and bouts of vomiting, when a lump appeared on her neck. Thanks to the quick-thinking of her GP, Ann was referred to the hospital, where she eventually got her diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia. Read on for her story.

In April 2016, I started feeling unwell, I had lost my voice and was being treated for a throat infection. I was also out of breath and started being sick so much it broke blood vessels in my face. I discovered a lump in my neck too, which my GP picked up on straightaway and sent me to hospital under the two-week referral. I had a biopsy on the lump and went back a week later for a biopsy under general anaesthetic on my tongue.

In the next week, my health took a really bad turn for the worst and my partner had to carry me into hospital for my results. The doctor took one look at me and admitted me on the spot. They started with a blood transfusion and the next day a bone marrow biopsy. I was moved to the haematology ward and given my diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and told I was very ill.

The next day, my Hickman line was inserted and the day after I started chemo, all in the space of four days. My levels were so low that my Hickman line was just bleeding out, and after four days of chemo I was rushed to intensive care with liver failure and pneumonia. My partner was told to prepare for the worst as I was put on a CPAC machine to breathe for me. I spent a week in intensive care and came back onto the ward with oxygen.

While having treatment, I also contracted C. diff and was in isolation for two weeks. I also had kidney stones.

I reached remission in November 2016. I had been told at the beginning of treatment that it could affect my fertility, so in 2017 I had lots of tests which showed it had in fact left me with secondary infertility. We were devastated but carried on planning our wedding. I was married in August 2017 and we went on holiday in the October. When we got back I discovered that I was pregnant! Eden was born in June this year.

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