What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia


What age were you diagnosed?

22


What helped you to thrive?

My friends and family, they are amazing.

The Teenage Cancer Trust, they gave me a voice and a confidence when I discovered them in 2008. Getting involved with patient focus groups and having my say.

Training as a Naturopathic Physician - using my knowledge of what it's like to have chronic illness to help others with a more natural non-invasive way.

Learning I can jog long distance with enough training and completing both a half (2010) and full marathon (2012). Fingers crossed for 2016 with the London Marathon and getting a place.

Getting on with it and using everything in a positive way.


Katie's Story

It's always difficult condensing over 8 years of treatment and experiences into a couple of paragraphs...

I was diagnosed, aged 22, with 'Old Mans Cancer', otherwise known as Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). I feel that I had a pretty awful experience due to having a consultant who was less familiar dealing with younger CML patients. I called my clinic 'Gods Waiting Room' as everyone was much older than me. When I started to show severe intolerance to my treatment my consultant told me that I couldn't be feeling like that as research showed that I wouldn't. Fortunately, I now have the most amazing consultant. I am a part of my treatment plan and I make decisions alongside my medical team. I look healthy which is good, but it also means that people don't realise my ongoing battle with chronic fatigue.

Currently, I am on drug option 'number 4' which is also the last one that I can try - due to severe side effects. As a result of my treatment, I often feel like I live in limbo land - a place where I am in remission but will likely be on a chemotherapy pill for the rest of my life. However, I have never had intravenous chemotherapy or radiotherapy. I am a long-term user of the NHS which is why I get involved with so many patient groups etc - always with my TYA 'lost tribe' hat on. I get involved to make a positive change, not to whine... That's why I have my blog!

The thing I like about Trekstock, and why I want to get involved, is that the charity goes up to the age of 39. I think it's vital that support goes beyond the age of 25. I know that at 30 I feel, in many ways, the same as I did at 22. The same things that were important to me then are still valid today.

I also like the focus that Trekstock places on exercise and nutrition which are vital for everyone - not just to someone who has had a cancer diagnosis. Spreading awareness is so important and to be a part of that excites me. Also because (and this might sound strange), Trekstock isn't a massive corporate charity, the focus is still very much on us (the young adults who have experienced cancer) and this hasn't been forgotten. I feel like part of a little family and, that to me is essential.

To read her blog head here