Since my last post when I mentioned that I’d been suffering from back pain, I’ve had a relapse and a couple of long stints in hospital. I had some routine blood tests and when the doctor saw the results, I was told to go straight to the hospital.

I spent 8 weeks in my local hospital having chemo for the leukaemia and medication to get my back pain under control. During that time, my consultant told me that a new groundbreaking process called Car-T therapy was the best course of action for me. It involves removing my cells, growing them in a culture to make them attack cancer cells and then putting them back into me via an infusion. This treatment is not widely available and I had to travel to University College Hospital in London for the harvesting of the cells.

I managed to get home for 10 days before being admitted to hospital in London to start the Car-T therapy - it started with 4 days of chemo before the first infusion of cells. There are a lot of potential side effects and the medical staff monitored me closely before administering the second dose. Fourteen days after the second dose, I was allowed to go home, I’d been very fortunate not to suffer from side effects.

It was lovely to be home, to sleep in my own bed and have some decent food (hospital food isn’t that great..). I’m having weekly blood tests at my local hospital and I go to London once a month to see the clinical trial team. The fatigue isn’t great but it is getting better as I’m starting to get out and about again. I went to my first show last week since last June - it was great but we were back in our hotel room by 10pm having tea and biscuits.

I think for anyone who has had cancer, the fear of it returning never quite goes away - I was gutted that the leukaemia came back and I’d have to go through all that treatment again. My hair has all fallen out again and all I could think was “It’s not fair, why me again.” Since my first diagnosis in 2015, the chemo and anti-sickness treatments have improved ( I wasn’t sick once ! ) and the advancement of research like Car-T meant that my hospital stay was nowhere near as lengthy as before.

I’ve said it many times before but this really brings it home again - Enjoy life, you never know what is round the corner.