Alice, 33 from Melton Mowbray has not been lucky over the past two Christmases. In 2019 just a mere 3 weeks before Christmas, she was given the devastating news that she has acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a form of blood cancer.
Alice says her initial symptoms were very vague “I was extremely tired all the time, but put it down to jet lag. However, I kept bruising and getting bouts of tonsillitis, my right tonsil was enlarged and kept producing calcium stones.”
Under the care of a haematologist Alice’s bloods didn't "look right" and the doctors were baffled as to why, so sent her for CT scans and an endoscopy, but to the results showed there to be show nothing wrong.
Undeterred, the doctor treating Alice, referred her to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who at first approved a tonsillectomy then decided it was not suitable treatment for her. Instead a tonsil biopsy was taken on her right tonsil which also came back clear and gave Alice temporary piece of mind.
Although her consultant expected nothing sinister, a bone marrow biopsy was conducted. It confirmed AML her bones; that was Friday 13th December, 2019.
Almost immediately she began chemotherapy treatment, lasting six months - over the course of the coronavirus lockdown one. During this time her sisters were tested to see if they were possible matches to be a blood stem cell donor for her, but unfortunately they were found not to be.
Prior to all of this Alice had been travelling with her job in the health and wellness industry. Ironically she was about to start a beauty training course on how to treat and care for clients that have cancer.
A year later, following a routine six month check up, Alice was told that sadly she had relapsed. This was confirmed to her on Christmas Eve. After asking her doctor to not make her wait until the new year, he confirmed the news on New Years Eve that she would need a stem cell transplant in order to recover.
Alice thanks a Nurse for signposting her to DKMS, and together we are working to help raise awareness of blood cancers and disorders as well as to increase the number of donors on the blood stem cell register. Alice is still searching for her blood stem cell donor.