Leukaemia: I am a survivor
Bronte Hutchinson shares her experience of having chronic myeloid leukaemia and an allogeneic stem cell transplant.
I am a leukaemia survivor. I feel so lucky to be well, to have a wonderful husband and two beautiful little boys – what more could anyone want.
Often at night though, when I’m lying in bed, I think about the many friends I made in hospital who didn’t survive their journey with leukaemia.
My journey with leukaemia began in 2001 while I was working in Clermont mustering cattle. I found myself in hospital after being kicked by a steed and developing an unusual swelling.
I was alone in my room when the doctor came and told me the news – I had chronic myeloid leukaemia. I cried. I had no idea what lay ahead.
That night I was flown to Brisbane to begin treatment. My now husband Stewart, came with me and the roller coaster ride began.
After a stint of oral chemo my blood tests revealed that my disease was showing signs of turning to acute leukaemia, and the need for a stem cell transplant became urgent.
Fortunately my sister was a match and my transplant went ahead in March 2002. While I felt like I had been hit by a bus at the time, the process went fairly smoothly.
While I was in Brisbane I stayed at the Leukaemia Foundation’s Herston Village. It was so wonderful to have somewhere that Stewart and our families could stay when they came to visit – and completely free of charge.
When we were told we’d have to come to Brisbane I had no idea where we would stay or how we would manage. The wonderful staff at the village helped us out in so many ways. They became like my family – they are amazing.
In 2006, with the help of an egg donor, our precious miracle, Jack, was born, and now he also has a beautiful little brother. Life is wonderful.
Before I got leukaemia, I didn’t realise how this disease could change your life in a heartbeat. I had no idea that the Leukaemia Foundation offered such exceptional care to patients and their families, as well as funding vital research to find the best treatments and cures for blood cancers.
I will always be grateful to the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland for being such an amazing support for me and my family.
– Bronte Hutchinson
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