Mum's fight against Leukaemia (CML)
6 years ago on 27th August, just two weeks after we celebrated her 40th birthday, Mum woke up with pretty bad chest pains. She thought maybe she'd pulled a muscle in her shoulder (running around like a crazy woman doing everything for everyone) and was sure she'd be fine, so I left her at home to head off to work. We had no idea that later that afternoon our lives would change forever.
I got a text message from Mum that same day saying, "I don't want anyone to worry, I'm in Emergency, could be a punctured lung I'll be fine" - typical, always concerned about the rest of us even when sitting in Emergency.
The pains had gotten worse that morning, to the point where breathing was pretty difficult, so she had gone to the doctor and ended up at hospital.
My brother and I met her at the hospital and after hours and hours and test after test, a beautiful doctor walked in to the room and put his hands on her feet. I remember holding her hand as tight as I could and seeing the fear in her eyes. The doctor said, "I am so sorry. You are incredibly healthy but your white blood cell count is 300 when it should be under 10. You have Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia". The doctor didn't know too much about it but he assured her that the best haematologist in Perth would be dealing with her case.
The pains and difficulty breathing were because her spleen had taken up her entire chest cavity and part of it had died from the cancer. The only other symptoms were that she had some bruising and was really tired - typical for a busy working Mum. We had no idea. It broke our world. Our untouchable queen had been touched with one of the worst things imaginable.
Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia is a rare form of leukaemia that only about 300 people in Australia get each year. Mum will have to take medication, most with severe side effects, for the rest of her life to be able to stay well. If she stops, it's almost guaranteed that she will get more sick, to the point of no return. Some people find a medicine that works and they can return to normal daily life, but not her.
Most of those who know her don't know that she spends most of her day in excruciating pain, in bed, unable to do all the things she loves. She struggles every day to put the most brave face on just to get through each day.
Mum has spent the past 6 years on medication after medication and every single one has failed. That's why we are doing this.
Mum's latest medication has failed and she is getting more and more sick. The next option at the moment is either to get a Bone Marrow Transplant (very risky given she's been on chemo for 6 years & they can't find her a match yet) OR become part of a trial in Adelaide. This would mean relocating for some time and having to travel back and forth between Perth and Adelaide. It also means she will be unable to do any work or have any income. We are hoping that the Leukaemia Foundation will be able to fund some travel and living expenses but we aren't sure yet and no plans have been set in stone for what the next course of action may be. Any amount that anyone could spare would mean the absolute world and would relieve so much stress in an already stressful situation. It would help her unbelievably for whatever turns out to be the next step for her, as well as her day to day living expenses with her unable to work.
We love our Mum more than anything and we need her to get better. She is our world. Thanks for reading even if you can't donate!
We just want to say a HUGE thank you to the Leukaemia Foundation for providing Mum with accommodation for her initial stay in Adelaide.
Firstly I just want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has donated and/or shown their support so far - it means the absolute world to Mum.
A couple of days ago we found out she would be heading off to Adelaide to commence this new trial and she has just left this morning. The donations so far are going to help her be able to fly back and forth between Perth and Adelaide, as well as help towards her living expenses for the duration of this trial until she hopefully becomes better!
If everyone could keep her in their thoughts and continue to share this page, that would be amazing :).
<3 Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts xxxxx
Today I met your amazing Mum while I cannot support her financially anytime she is in Adelaide I will do whatever I can to make her stay comfortable xxx
Please DONT give up hope. Maybe contact this man on facebook, Donavon Vizina , he survived a Leukaemia. I turned to him when my mum was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He helped me alot and amazingly my mother is now in remission. Good Luck.!! xx