What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Philadelphia Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

What age were you diagnosed?


What has helped you to thrive?

Since my diagnosis, I have massively relied on the love and support from my family and friends to help me to keep a positive attitude. After experiencing a very low few months of anxiety and depression from spending a significant period of time in hospital; I have now gained a whole new perspective on my illness since being allowed to spend more time at home. This has really helped me to gain control of my cancer and not allow it to control me.

I have recently started a blog to help document my journey as well as joining cancer support groups and talking to others with the same illness, to help make sense of the situation and compare stories! It’s nice to know you’re not alone and so reaching out to charities such as Trekstock and joining these groups provides a massive amount of support when you feel somewhat isolated from everyone else. 

I also believe that eating properly throughout my treatment (when I’ve felt able to!) has helped my body to accept the cocktail of drugs a lot better and provided me with energy and nourishment to help support me mentally as well. 

Lily's Story

Towards the end of August 2019, I started to display some strange symptoms that I couldn’t really explain. I had a range of large purple bruises on my arms, a red pin-prick rash all over my very achy legs and was struggling with breathlessness, extreme fatigue and night sweats. 

After visiting my doctor twice I was sent for a blood test, which came back to show my platelets were 8. I was immediately admitted to hospital and put on a high dose of steroids to try to increase them. A few days later on my 20th birthday, I was discharged with ‘probable ITP’ however after returning 3 days later for a check-up, my consultant hit me with the news that it was more likely to be leukaemia. 

A very nasty bone marrow biopsy later and I was diagnosed with Philadelphia Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and was moved to the TYA unit in Southampton Hospital. I started intense chemotherapy 3 days after my diagnosis and spent just under 4 months in hospital receiving treatment. Initially, it included weekly chemo and then progressed onto a month of everyday chemo with regular lumbar punctures to inject chemotherapy into my spinal fluid. More recently I have completed another intense week of every day chemo as well as enduring the delightful bone marrow biopsies along the way. 

Although I went into remission after my first round of treatment, I am currently preparing for a bone marrow transplant which will hopefully get rid of all evidence of disease from both the leukaemia and the mutation and give me a sparkly new immune system!

Read more of Lily's story here