A point in time

Submitted by Scott on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 12:10

This weekend kind of pulls two significant anniversary dates in my recovery together. 31st July 2018 and 3rd August 2016 , both are important as they mark milestones in my leukaemia journey. 

When I had my bone marrow transplant in August 2016 it helped propel me into a future that I had been focused on achieving since my original diagnosis. 

Much had happened, the usual smorgasbord of available treatment had taken me from the outer edge of survivability, when my chances were being talked of in percentages, right through to stepping out of the department on a warm autumn evening pulling all my possessions behind me in a smart blue case.

Among my goods and chattels was a book I had come across in hospital, written by the worlds biggest sporting antihero Lance Armstrong. 

My head was full of possibility’s of how I was going to translate the motivation that read had given me into tangible real actions and results. 

When I look back and reflect on how that seemingly small tome has completely changed my life it hardly seems possible. 

I got on a bike a few weeks later and it seems like I’ve literally not been off one since. 

Ironically the other significant date of 31st July came into the journey calendar after I returned home from a ride and replied to a call which informed me that my remission was at an end and that a relapse would once again put me back into the world of treatment and odds of making it through. 

It was a cold and wet February day in 2018 when I first learned of the option of joining a trial with a select group of patients down in London at UCLH, exploring the hope that a pioneering therapy could bring. 

The CAR T-Cell therapy was my best opportunity to recover and gain the remission status I had long fought for previously . 

The term “dream outcome “ was mentioned at the first meeting I had with the trial team , it seems strange looking back now but I genuinely feel that is the life I’m currently living. 

The trials and tribulations of that therapy were very similar to the conventional treatment I had gratefully recieved nearly two years earlier. 

It was five long months from the initial consultation and sign up for the trial, to actually getting the bag of cells infused into my arm. 

The chemo key was once again used to unlock the possibility of survival as a way of pulling back from the abyss I had found myself staring into for the second time. 

The bike proved to be a pivotal catalyst for recovery, as once I was allowed home to recover, it wasn’t a big leap of intention to find myself heading out into the Derbyshire countryside once more. 

As the two year since treatment remission date has now been achieved, my final biopsy has been donated to the trial stats, it’s now just a case of being monitored with regular blood tests to check that all continues to tick along. 

There won’t be a big celebration at our house, as my wife has long since banned any talk of leukaemia , treatment, diagnosis or even recovery. She feels it’s time I consigned all this stuff to a personal history of what’s gone past. Time to move on with life and put all this behind us. 

My view is really opposite to that , in writing and reflecting on what’s happened during the past four and a half years it actually gives me the opportunity to make positive steps forward. 

BIOPIC TIMELINE 

2016 Diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. 

2020  in remission again, clear for two years .

Keeping the pedals turning.. 

 

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