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Talking Blood Cancer Podcast

The Leukaemia Foundation is proud to announce and welcome you to tune into our new podcast series, Talking Blood Cancer.

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.

Gain insights, inspiration, information and find meaning as we navigate and adjust to a new normal.

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“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.

“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.

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.

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.

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 sever 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.

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.

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 6 years to achieve this goal and the hearing her share the story of how she made it happen is truly astounding.

 

‘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.

 

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

It was the year 1999 and 34 year old Tim Keen 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.

 

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.

Diagnosed the night before her wedding: Katherine’s story

At the age of 24 and on the eve of her wedding, Katherine Marshall was diagnosed with Hodkgin’s Lymphoma. You’ll hear how treatment and also survivorship truly tested her, and how processing her diagnosis was so important for her recovery.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Christina’s journey as a carer

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. Christina reflects on how her knowledge as a doctor influenced how she managed her role as a carer.

Coping through creativity: Timothy James Bowen’s story

In this episode, the singer/songwriter and star of TV show ‘The Voice’ shares the story of his diagnosis with stage four lymphoma. Timothy discusses what it was like to endure six months of chemotherapy and shares the value in having an interest or creative outlet.

How blood cancer helped Esther find her authentic self

Esther discusses the mental challenges she faced, how she navigated familial expectations, and how she has channelled her diagnosis into her “mission”.

From wife to carer

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.

How a motorbike accident led to a blood cancer diagnosis

Our host, and one of the Leukaemia Foundation’s Blood Cancer Support Coordinators Kate Arkadieff speaks with Brendan about his journey and what it was like to receive a blood cancer diagnosis while living in regional Queensland, have a bone marrow transplant, and go on to be a survivor of AML.

Kirsty Everett defied the odds and survived blood cancer – twice

Kirsty discusses what it was like to be diagnosed with childhood leukaemia, how she got through chemotherapy, and how she has harnessed this experience to inspire her purpose.

Coping with lymphoma and motherhood

Julie discusses how she coped with a blood cancer diagnosis as a young mum, and shares some insight and expertise on the importance of exercise as a treatment for cancer.

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