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Talking Blood Cancer Podcast

Blood Cancer Support Coordinators and hosts Kate, Maryanne and Vanessa talk with people living with blood cancer and their loved ones to share their stories.

Talking Blood Cancer: 2023 festive wrap-up

In this special Christmas wrap-up episode of Talking Blood Cancer, hosts Kate and Maryanne reflect on the stories and conversations shared in Season 3 of the podcast. We touch on various topics including feelings of happiness, managing fatigue, coping with infections, and pondering the essence of time. The festive season is a significant time, one that it can be both a time of celebration and reflection. We offer you wishes of love, health, and happiness for the upcoming year.

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Talking Blood Cancer

Talking Blood Cancer: Glenys Davidson’s Journey

In this episode of the Talking Blood Cancer podcast, host Vanessa is joined by guest Glenys Davidson to share her journey with acute myeloid leukaemia candidly. Vanessa reflects on the observation of people navigating through treatment at the facility where she is based, setting the stage for a real, raw conversation about the impact of blood cancer on patients and their support networks.

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A positive mindset and returning to work helped Harry!

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Talking Blood Cancer with Harrison Thompson

Lisa Smith CEO of Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry

  • Interviews with experts
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Lisa Smith, CEO - Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR)

15 minutes with haematology nurse Carmel Woodrow

Carmel Woodrow has been in the field of nursing for over 40 years, with 30 of those years spent in haematology. Now working as a Clinical Nurse Consultant, Carmel focuses mainly on myeloma and amyloidosis patients.

  • Interviews with experts
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Talking Blood Cancer with Carmel Woodrow

Jennifer was diagnosed with myeloma at 27 years old

Jennifer Marx shares insight into being diagnosed with myeloma at almost 27 years old - a condition far more prevalent in older people. Jennifer shares how she navigated the healthcare system, managed treatment and relationships, and her experience having two autologous transplants.

  • Myeloma
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Jennifer Marx

Navigating a rare blood disease as a mother of five: Fiona’s story

In May 2020, Fiona was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Also known as MDS, it is a type of blood cancer that affects the production of normal blood cells in the bone marrow. Fiona shares what it was like to be diagnosed with a rare blood disease as a mother of five, wife and nurse, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
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Fiona McWhirter

Talking Blood Cancer: 2022 wrap up

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Talking Blood Cancer

From a cattle farmer and mother of three to an AML diagnosis: Regina’s story

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
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Talking Blood Cancer

Diagnosed at 5 weeks old: Zoe’s remarkable story

In this episode, Kate speaks with Ping, whose daughter Zoe was diagnosed with infant pre B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at just 5 weeks old. Zoe is now nearly 5 years old and is in remission and at school. Zoe's mother, Ping, shares what it was like to walk the blood cancer journey with a child so young, and how the family travelled around the world to save Zoe's life.

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
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Ping Hao

“It was a journey through no man’s land”: Michael’s story

Michael Bowen was 33 years old and living in Sydney when one morning, as he was driving to work, he received a phone call that would stop his fast paced life in its tracks. Michael received a diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). In this conversation, Michael talks about the bouts of depression he came up against and how he was able to overcome these hard times.

  • Chronic myeloid leukaemia
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Michael Bowen

Vicky’s two miracle babies post-treatment

Vicky Pellowe was just 29 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Vicky and her husband had only been married six months, both working long hours as FIFO workers in Western Australia. Vicky speaks about the shock of mental recovery post treatment - how to try and remain positive while experiencing fear of relapse, side effects, potential infertility, body changes and loss of employment or finances. She also speaks about the journey into motherhood and how she was blessed with two miracle babies post treatment, without IVF.

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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Diagnosed during the pandemic: Renae’s story

Picture this - it was the year 2021 and Melbourne had just come out of its 5th lockdown. Renae and her partner, Sam escaped the 5km radius and went to the beach. Renae remembers feeling a lump in her throat which she thought could have been tonsillitis. One doctor's visit changed Renae's life - she was diagnosed with anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma. Renae talks about what it was like to be diagnosed during the Covid-19 pandemic in Melbourne, and how hospital restrictions impacted her support network during some of the toughest times of her treatment.

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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How Damien Thompson pushed himself to the limit

Damien Thompson was diagnosed with ALL in 2010 at the age of just 23. He underwent a donor-related allogeneic transplant and suffered severe GVHD. A number of years later post his bone marrow transplant, he had to undergo a double lung transplant. Damien shares pearls of wisdom about how he got through the challenging transplant. He speaks about remembering to celebrate the small wins, as those small wins turn into big gains. Damien made it his challenge to not let leukaemia win.

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Damien Thompson

Robin travelled 1,100km to receive a diagnosis

This episode tells the story of Robin Matthews. Robin is a dump truck diver from the APY Lands in far north South Australia, building roads for Indigenous communities. Robin was diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphoma in 2021, and talks about what it was like to face a diagnosis in a rural area of Australia, just months after losing his wife to cancer. Robin shares how his family gave him strength in his darkest days and how finding a community within the Leukaemia Foundation helped him manage his diagnosis.

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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What drove Nathalie Cook to help list Pegasys on the PBS

Nathalie Cook OAM, who was diagnosed with MPN in 2008, tells the story of the delay in her diagnosis and how after attending a conference in the USA, on the flight home, she made the decision to try to get Pegasys on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for people with MPN in Australia. It took 7 years to achieve this goal and the hearing her share the story of how she made it happen is truly astounding.

  • Leukaemia
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms
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Talking Blood Cancer Nathalie Cook

‘Family is the best investment’: Jo’s role as a carer

In our first episode of Season Two, we spoke to Tim Keen who was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukaemia) in 1999. In this episode we speak with Tim's wife and carer, Jo Keen. Jo shares her insights about her role as a carer. She talks about how her relationship with Tim strengthened throughout this tough journey and ways that they remained positive together. She discusses how making time for your family is the best investment you can make for own happiness.

  • Leukaemia
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Talking Blood Cancer Jo Keen

‘It’s about life around the disease’: Tim’s story

To kick off Season Two, we chat to Tim Keen who was 34 years old when he was diagnosed with a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APML). Tim shares his story through diagnosis, relapse, and treatment, where he underwent two autologous transplants and arsnic treatment.

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
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From dialysis to blood cancer: Robert’s story

Northern Territory local Robert Smith had been living on dialysis for 12 years when he was diagnosed with myeloma. Robert discusses the importance that the support of his wife, Jo was in his journey. He takes us through his story — from diagnosis, to what it was like to travel to Adelaide for life-saving treatment and his recovery.

  • Myeloma
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Talking Blood Cancer

Diagnosed the night before her wedding: Katherine’s story

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
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Talking Blood Cancer

Lauren faced two bone marrow transplants by age 23

Perth-based Lauren Menegola was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at age 21. After a number of gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, Lauren underwent an unrelated bone marrow transplant. Just as life was getting back on track for Lauren, she was told that she had relapsed - just 11 months after her bone marrow transplant. Lauren was angry and was scared for the challenge that lay ahead of her. The challenge was to search across the world for a bone marrow match, and they had to search high and low. Lauren's story is a remarkable one which really shows the power of the human spirit - and having a supportive network rallying behind you.

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
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Talking Blood Cancer

A diagnosis and new-born baby

It was 2014, and Tom and his girlfriend had just discovered they were expecting their first child. Just weeks later, Tom found himself experiencing some concerning symptoms. After much investigation, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Tom's interview sheds light on what it was like to be diagnosed with a blood cancer as a young adult. He shares his experience of diagnosis, and autologous transplant, all while bringing a new baby into the world.

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
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Talking Blood Cancer

Clinton and the power of the mind

Clinton Parmenter was living life in the fast lane — socialising with friends,  spending time with his family and working hard in his job. He "barely ever came up for a breath of air". When one day, his life was turned on its head when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. In this interview, Clinton discusses his experience in choosing to go ahead with an allogeneic stem cell transplant. He also shares how he harnessed a positive mindset throughout his journey.

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
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Talking Blood Cancer

Diagnosed at 29 years old

29-year-old Sophie Patnicroft-Gray had recently moved from the UK to Adelaide, where she was working and planning to travel, when a routine blood test showed that there was something "a bit off". Then, out of left-field, Sophie was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. Sophie shares the emotional struggles she faced as a young adult diagnosed with a blood cancer. Sophie also discusses her challenges with fatigue, and how she embraced exercise to improve her health and wellbeing.

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
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Talking Blood Cancer

How Sandra kept her family together through childhood leukaemia

Mother and psychologist, Sandra Evans shares the story of when her eldest daughter, Tahlia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at age four. Sandra discusses how she and her husband, Randall, managed their broader family and finances. She recounts the time of diagnosis and treatment, and her experiences with doctors.

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
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Talking Blood Cancer

Christina’s journey as carer

In December 2015, Christina was living in Byron Bay and studying at medical school, when her boyfriend at the time, singer-songwriter Timothy James Bowen was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In this episode, Christina reflects on how her knowledge as a doctor influenced how she managed her role as a carer, and how her life was impacted by Timothy's diagnosis. She discusses how important family was during this time and how they all rallied together to help Timothy.

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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Talking Blood Cancer

Coping through creativity: Timothy James Bowen’s story

You may have heard of Timothy James Bowen – in 2020, he was a contestant on Australia's TV show, The Voice. In this episode, we ask with the singer/songwriter to take us back to the time of his diagnosis; a time when Timothy was building his music career – writing and recording music and playing shows on tour. Timothy was tired and sore, but he put that down to his busy lifestyle, his poor posture, and spending hours in the recording studio. After an innocent sneeze caused him to fall over in pain, Timothy realised that something more serious could be going on. Eventually, on 17 December 2015, Timothy was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma.

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Talking Blood Cancer

How blood cancer helped Esther find her authentic self

In 2016, Esther Xu’s life changed forever when she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Up to that point, Esther had led quite a smooth, high-achieving life, ticking off most of her parents’ wish list. Esther was living in Australia, but is originally from Shanghai in China. Not only did Esther have to deal with the physical effects of a blood cancer diagnosis, she also had to deal with the emotional and cultural complexities.

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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Talking Blood Cancer

From wife to carer

When Roxanne's husband Brendan was diagnosed with, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), Roxanne had no idea that when she packed an overnight bag for Brendan that he would be in hospital for months having treatment. Our host, and one of the Leukaemia Foundation's Blood Cancer Support Coordinators Kate Arkadieff speaks with Roxanne about what it was like to live in regional Queensland and care for someone with a blood cancer, and how she supported her family through the journey and beyond.

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
  • Carers
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Talking Blood Cancer

How a motorbike accident led to a blood cancer diagnosis

Brendan Hodda had just embarked on the trip of a lifetime for his 40th birthday. He was to ride his motorbike from Rockhampton to Cape York, when he fell off his bike on the first day of the trip. It wasn't until after three surgeries on a broken arm and further tests that Brendan received the news – he had acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
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Talking Blood Cancer