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Living well with blood cancer stories

Hear from others who've adjusted to life after a blood cancer diagnosis

Nadine, wearing a yellow jumper and smiling

Facing Hodgkin lymphoma head on

As a young black woman with Hodgkin lymphoma, Nadine has struggled to find support that represents her. She talks about sharing her journey on social media to raise awareness.

A woman, Helen, wearing a sparkly top and velvet jacket. She is smiling, and there is a painting on the wall behind her.

Is this the menopause, or blood cancer coming back?

Helen has been in remission from Hodgkin lymphoma since 2008. She explains how menopause symptoms had her worried that the cancer had come back.

Louise, blood cancer case study

Staying hopeful when treatment doesn’t go to plan

Louise talks about how she stayed hopeful during her treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, even though she needed more treatment than she expected.

David having a drink in a pub

Making sense of myelofibrosis

David describes the shock of his diagnosis with myelofibrosis (MF), and how he's coming to terms with it.

Marilyn on a pebbly beach, with her back to the sea, smiling at the camera.

It’s important to have access to an MPN specialist

Read about Marilyn's experience of myelofibrosis (MF) since she was diagnosed 33 years ago, and what she thinks about the future of MF treatment.

Louise, in remission after a stem cell transplant for myelofibrosis (MF)

I'm so grateful for my precious donor cells

Louise was diagnosed with myelofibrosis (MF) in 2021. She explains what it's like to have a stem cell transplant and how she's getting on with her recovery.

Nabeela, a young woman wearing glasses and a headscarf, smiling at the camera

Fasting during Ramadan while recovering from blood cancer

Nabeela explains how she made the decision to fast during Ramadan, a few weeks into her recovery from treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.

Gail, who's living with essential thrombocythaemia (ET), being hugged by two of her grandchildren.

People are very surprised when I say I have blood cancer

Gail shares her experiences of living with essential thrombocythaemia (ET) for the last 30 years.

Black and white photo of Becky. Becky is in a field, seen from behind. She's taking a photo on her phone.

Living with mental health conditions and blood cancer

Becky describes her journey with bipolar, anxiety and mantle cell lymphoma, and the strategies that help her.

Esther, who is living with essential thrombocythaemia (ET), against a back-drop of flowering shrubs

Embracing the new Esther

Find out how a blood clot caused by essential thrombocythaemia (ET) changed Esther's life overnight.

Jacqui, diagnosed with PV, seated at a restaurant table with plants behind.

I want people to know it's not the end of the world

Jacqui takes a positive view of life with polycythaemia vera (PV), and is relieved by her diagnosis.

Scott and Tris sharing their thoughts and feelings about Scott's myeloma diagnosis on the Blood Cancer Heart to Heart podcast

Watch Blood Cancer Heart to Heart

A video podcast for people whose loved one has been diagnosed with blood cancer

Vij, who was diagnosed with polycythaemia vera (PV), smiling into the camera in front of a large canvas painting on the wall.

Finding my own way through it

Vij finds support from other people with blood cancer to manage the emotional side of his polycythaemia vera (PV) diagnosis.

Alex on a day out watching PGA golf

The ups and downs of living with PV

Find out what it's like for Alex living with polycythaemia vera (PV) and what you should know about venesection.

Ed, who is living with ET, wearing a Blood Cancer UK to go on a training run

Running to the rescue

Long-distance running helps Ed to cope with difficult times, including his diagnosis with essential thromobocythaemia (ET)

Kal (on the left) with her daughter. They are lying on a bed together, looking up at the camera.

My brother's stem cells saved my life, but I know others aren't as lucky

Kal shares her story about having a stem cell transplant using her brother's stem cells.

Ally wearing fire uniform, standing in front of a fire engine

Giving up the job I loved was devastating

Ally talks about being diagnosed with MDS (a type of blood cancer), giving up his job in the fire service, and finding a new sense of purpose.

Emma, who has MDS, with her dog

My tips for long hospital stays

Since she was diagnosed with MDS, Emma's had several stays in hospital for treatment. She shares her tips for staying active and positive in hospital.

Katherine on holiday in Japan, smiling in front of a colourful maple tree.

What gave me hope was hearing other people’s stories

Katherine shares how she found hope in other people's experiences of blood cancer

A selfie of a woman (Federica) smiling, wearing a pink and black headscarf

Finding hope in the face of infertility

Federica shares her story of how blood cancer treatment affected her fertility, and the impact it's had on her life.

Sandra, who is living with myeloma

Myeloma and my mental health

Sandra talks about her struggle with depression after a blood cancer diagnosis

Craig, who is living with myeloma, standing in front of his motor home

Coping with myeloma - five people explain how they do it

How do you live with a blood cancer that’s treatable, but you know is likely to come back? We asked a group of people living with myeloma what helps them cope.

Scott with his husband

What I’ve learnt as a gay man with blood cancer

Being open about your personal circumstances, including your sexuality, can help your medical team give you the best care for blood cancer

Sunny, diagnosed with non Hodgkin lymphoma

When treatment affects fertility

Sunny talks about coming to terms with the news that the treatment he needed for non-Hodgkin lymphoma would affect his fertility.

Linda, diagnosed with myeloma, smiling to camera

Facing the stigma of blood cancer

Linda explains how she is dealing with the stigma of a blood cancer diagnosis

Kerry, who's living with myeloma, on a country walk

It never occurred to me I would need fertility treatment

Kerry talks frankly about having fertility treatment before starting treatment for myeloma

Mart and Kayleigh dressed for work with their lanyards on

Working his way back

Mart and his partner Kayleigh talk about how Mart got back to work after 18 months of treatment for myeloma

Stewart, who is living with chronic myeloid leukaemia

Living with long-term side effects

Stewart talks about the impact treatment side effects have had on their life, and dealing with other people’s expectations.

Andy, diagnosed with CML

When treatment causes difficult side effects

Andy shares his story of how he dealt with difficult blood cancer treatment side effects, and how he advocated for himself throughout treatment.

Black and white photograph of Simone, with medium length curly hair, looking serious and pulling at one curl.

How I got creative with my newly bald head

Simone shares her story of hair loss from myeloma treatment, and how she became more confident with the way she looked with cancer.

Sunny, diagnosed with non Hodgkin lymphoma

Coping with changes to my appearance

Blood cancer treatment can change the way you look. Sunny shares how he coped with this, and what you can do to feel more confident too.

Fatigue won't stop me enjoying life

Erica, 69, has been on watch and wait (a way of monitoring blood cancer) since 2003

Stewart, diagnosed with CML

Seeking support as a queer person with blood cancer

Stewart shares their story of seeking support with blood cancer, and how they created their own community.

Simone, living with blood cancer since 2018.

Telling family and friends you have blood cancer

Simone describes how different people reacted to the news that she had myeloma, and gives her tips on telling other people.

Natalia, diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma

No one talks about how hard it is when treatment ends

Lots of people with blood cancer find it hard emotionally when treatment ends. Natalia shares her story of what she went through.

Portrait photo of Josh

Remember what you’re doing this for – your future self will thank you

Josh reflects on his experiences of having treatment for AML, how it affected him, and how he took back control over his life after blood cancer.

Graeme is lying on his back, on his hospital bed, with his head propped up on the pillow. He is looking at the camera and smiling.

How to keep your positivity during treatment

Graeme shares how he found purpose and goals to keep him going, even at his lowest point.

Portrait of Bansri, treated twice for ALL, smiling

How to be a good friend to someone with blood cancer

Find out what Bansri's friends and family did to help her through treatment for leukaemia

A couple out walking on a heath, seen from behind against the sky

Because family life doesn’t stop for treatment

Sue explains how careful planning got her family through her husband's lymphoma treatment

A group shot of Jasmine and her mum and dad on a windswept beach near the Wirral

Celebrating the little wins

How Jasmine supported her dad through treatment for myeloma

Paul, living with CML, has a cup of tea with his wife laughing wife in the kitchen.

Treatment that never stops

Janet talks about supporting her husband through treatment for a chronic leukaemia

A selfie of Christine and Charlotte on a sunny winter's day

The chance to say it all

Christine shares what helps when you're facing the death of a loved one from blood cancer.

Photo of Peter, smiling and wearing a blazer standing in front of his book shelf.

Continuing to work with side effects

Peter shares his tips on speaking to your employers about your blood cancer side effects and how to find work that works for you.

A couple hold hands - the image focuses on their hands.

The emotional impact of a poor prognosis

Sue describes what it's like when your loved one's prognosis is not hopeful

Yvonne, diagnosed with AML

Finding people who understand what you've been through

Yvonne shares how she found support in the patient community, through support groups and online.

Anna, diagnosed with AML

Life after treatment - finding a new normal

Anna shares her story of life after AML treatment

Marie, diagnosed with AML

Coping with a sudden diagnosis of AML

Marie shares her experience of having a sudden life-changing diagnosis of AML.

Rebecca, diagnosed with AML

Finding hope when you most need it

Rebecca shares how she felt hopeful through the tough times and the coping methods that helped.

Bav, diagnosed with AML

Having blood cancer as a young person

Bav shares her story of having AML as a teenager. She wants others to know they're not alone and help is there.

Marie, diagnosed with AML

Regaining a sense of control

Marie shares her strategies for feeling more in control during treatment for blood cancer.

Anna, diagnosed with AML

Becoming your own advocate

Anna describes how she advocated for herself during AML treatment and shares how others can do this too.

Yvonne, diagnosed with AML

The emotional impact of treatment

Yvonne shares what she's learnt from having AML and gives her top tips on coping emotionally.

Vij, who was diagnosed with polycythaemia vera (PV), smiling into the camera in front of a large canvas painting on the wall.

Accessing information when you’re first diagnosed

Vij is living with polycythaemia vera (PV), a chronic blood cancer. He talks about the value of reading up on your condition.

Quentin, who lives with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), stands on a sandy beach wearing cycling clothes and a helmet.

How to talk to your medical team

Quentin reflects on the importance of good communication with your medical team when you’re diagnosed with blood cancer.

Jacqueline, diagnosed with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma, looks beyond camera in a red jumper.

When blood cancer needs urgent treatment

When Jacqueline was diagnosed with a fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, she had little time to process what was happening.

Mel exploring the countryside by bike

Business as usual: working with CLL

Mel was diagnosed with CLL in 2013. He talks about how he’s carried on working throughout watch and wait, treatment on a clinical trial and the coronavirus pandemic.

Yvonne, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), smiling at the camera in front of a large, colourful painting of figures.

Turning leukaemia on its head

Despite the harsh side effects of Yvonne's treatment for leukaemia, she was determined to keep as active as she could. By adapting her approach to fitness, Yvonne was able to come back even stronger.

A close up of Megan Rhodes wearing a bright purple wavey wig, looking straight at the camera.

My blood cancer journey to empowerment

Read Megan's reflection on being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, getting into remission, and what she did to take back control of her life.

Giving my second chance at life its best shot

After finally making it to the end of her blood cancer treatment, Joanna entered an anxiety-ridden world. She explains how she's overcoming some of these struggles, so that she can give her second chance at life its best shot.

Jacqueline, in remission from DLBCL, stands smiling in the sunshine with a city skyline blurred in the background.

How I’ve coped with changes to my body

Jacqueline, 45 was diagnosed with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma in 2017. She had chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and is now in remission.

An older man - Gerald - in the countryside. He wears a brimmed hat, check shirt and has a backpack. The image is closely cropped with Gerald looking direct to camera and smiling.

My strategies for dealing with fatigue

Gerard, 72, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in 2017

Red Blood Cancer UK heart logo on an aubergine coloured background with white text in the foreground reading 'Share your story'.

Your story can help others

People newly diagnosed with blood cancer need to know they are not alone, and that other people are living and enjoying their life.

A close-up headshot of Carina, who was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia, smiling into the camera.

Three things I've changed to manage fatigue

Carina, 45, was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia in June 2017

Emma, who was diagnosed with a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), smiling with sunglasses on up a hill with a city view in the background.

How I cope with mental fatigue

Emma, 32, was diagnosed with a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and has had four rounds of treatment, including two stem cell transplants and chemotherapy

A close-up of Donna, who was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, smiling with family at a formal event.

My lightbulb moment with anxiety

Donna, 52, first had treatment for follicular lymphoma in 2009 and is now on a two-year maintenance treatment plan

Paul, who lives with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), skydives surrounded by instructors. The picture is taken from below by a fellow skydiver.

How I've adjusted to life with leukaemia

Paul, 51, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in 2013

A man, who has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, standing next to a girl on a lawnmower in a garden.

Finding my new normal

Mike, 75, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) five years ago

A middle aged couple pose for a photo together indoors

Overcoming my feelings of isolation

Lynn, 55, was first diagnosed with classical Hodgkin lymphoma in 1999 and has had lymphoma five times since then

A stock image of a man and a woman walking arm in arm through a dimly lit park, smiling slightly and wearing jackets.

How I found the financial support I needed

Louise, 63, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and has been in remission since undergoing a stem cell transplant

Carina, who was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia, standing on grass wearing formal clothes next to a man with sea and hills in the background.

Reducing my stress by rethinking work

Carina, 45, was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia in June 2017; following chemotherapy, she’s been in remission since November 2017

Bianca, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, with her husband at a public function.

Asking for help to work through chemo

Bianca explains how a supportive employer helped her to manage working through chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma.

Louise MacLeod working in her family shop, with products behind her in the background.

I was the boss with blood cancer

Louise, 41, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2012 and is now in remission and back working in the family business

Lawrence, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, standing in front of a church congregation wearing a suit.

Keeping my business running during treatment

Lawrence talks about his diagnosis and treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, and how he managed to keep his business running.

Joanna, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), standing beside a river smiling at the camera.

The right time to change my working life

Joanna was originally diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in August 2010 when she was 41.

Edward, a retired soldier who was diagnosed with myeloma, sitting on a rock on a hiking trail looking straight faced at the camera.

How I built up my fitness after treatment for myeloma

Retired soldier Edward was diagnosed with myeloma in 2016, and had a stem cell transplant in 2017.

Katie, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), standing outside wearing a hat smiling at the camera with a blurred background.

Doing my best to stay active with leukaemia

Katie, 35, was diagnosed with diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in 2007 when she was just 22

A man stands outside a brick house with a garage door in the background and a plant in the foreground.

Running helps me show blood cancer who’s boss

Rob, 30, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in 2011, after noticing a suspicious-looking bruise

Sarah, who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), raising one arm whilst cycling and smiling at the camera.

Cycling kept me on track during watch and wait

Sarah, 47, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in 2011 and put on watch and wait

Emma, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), smiling next to her partner in front of a wooden door.

Eating habits that boost my energy

Emma, 39, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2015

Anna, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), with family at a formal function smiling at the camera.

How leukaemia changed my attitude to eating

Anna, 44, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in 2015

A headshot of Erica, who has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), wearing a thick knitted jumper smiling into the camera.

Coming to terms with my watch and wait diagnosis

In 2003, Erica went to see her gynaecologist following a routine operation, and was told that she had chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

An image of Kate, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, smiling and standing to the left of a wall.

Coping with my emotions while I 'watch and wait'

Kate was diagnosed with a form of low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010, and has been on watch and wait ever since.

Trevor, who has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), sits smiling, holding hands with his wife on the sofa at the back of a caravan.

Supporting each other while we watch and wait

Just a year after getting the all clear from non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), Trevor was told he had chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Sylvia who's husband, Tony, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) smiling at the camera.

Looking after myself, as well as my husband

Sylvia’s husband, Tony, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) when he was 63.

Natalie who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with best friend Samantha holding ice creams at a Blood Cancer UK event.

Supporting my friend with leukaemia

Samantha, 31, is supporting her friend Natalie, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2016. Following chemotherapy and stem cell transplants, Natalie is now receiving palliative care.

Jude with her arm around husband Nige, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, smiling at the camera.

Spending precious time with my husband

Jude, 44, has been supporting her husband who is living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

A mother and child laughing together on their sofa at home, the son's feet on his mother's lap.

Adjusting to life with mum on watch and wait

Dan is 16. His mum Kate was diagnosed with a form of low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma (low-grade NHL) in September 2010, and has been on watch and wait ever since.

Hear from others who have adjusted to life with and after blood cancer