For me, June has been about anniversaries - the 9th marked 18 months since my transplant and the 16th saw 2 years since my diagnosis. I can hardly believe that it’s been over 2 years since I heard those 3 words that changed my life - “You have cancer...”

Time seemed to pass so slowly in hospital - every day was punctuated by medication, regimented meal times and of course “obs” every 4 hours. I remember making a timetable of my chemo sessions and ticking them off as I had them. I’m sure I’m not the only patient who measured time from chemo to chemo! Even when I’d been discharged, there were a series of “landmarks” to be reached - having my Hickman line removed, surviving 100 days’ post-transplant and gradually reducing my medication. And I couldn’t wait until I was allowed out of isolation!

I try not to live life from appointment to appointment - I’m sure some people think “Oh, I’ll do that after my next treatment” or “I’ll wait for my next set of results” but I try to just get on with life as normal, rather than feeling “in limbo”. I have been known to reschedule hospital appointments to fit around social trips (with my consultant’s agreement, obviously). Cancer is part of my life now but it doesn’t have to be the biggest part.

I had my 9th biopsy this week but I won’t get the results for a few weeks - I’ve also got another venesection and lumbar puncture coming up and my next clinic visit is looming. Realistically, I don’t think much will have changed but the fact that I now go every 2 months instead of twice a week is fine by me! My cell top-ups are resuming next month as my unknown German donor has very kindly allowed his marrow to be harvested again (Danke, mein Freund...). My treatment will be ongoing for a long time yet - I have another year of lumbar punctures, biopsies every 3 months and cell tops every 6 weeks and venesections until my iron levels return to normal.

Someone recently said to me “Oh, so are you better now?” - hmm, I’m better than I was but leukaemia doesn’t work quite like that. I’ll be on some medication for life - hopefully, the procedures will become less frequent as time goes by but to quote my personal blog - “It is what it is” and life goes on!

In between appointments, I’ve been to my first festival in 3 years - covered in factor 50 sun cream, drank lots of water and had a cup of tea afterwards - so not quite as rock n roll as I used to be... I’ve braved London a couple of times too - my friend bought me concert tickets last summer as a surprise but I was still too weak to go but we managed it a couple of weeks ago which was great. I was lucky enough to see David Tennant on stage last month too - I did tell my specialist that I’d seen another Doctor...fortunately, he did see the funny side!

You can hear more about Claire's story on her personal blog.