Tuesday the 29th of September started just like any normal(ish) day. I woke up and 6.30am to get Louise up for school but found that I had to do most of this from bed as I was just too exhausted to argue and cajole her while vertical. Now on the plus side this probably seemed like a bonus as she hates me getting her up normally as it would appear that I am too cheery first thing in the morning. How is that even possible?
My morning from that point on seems to have involved much sleep and various conversations with work, where I appeared to be taking on extra shifts, who knew just how daft an idea that was going to be! Then around midday I got a phone call from the surgery telling me that my blood counts were a bit low and that the oral antibiotics would not work and thus I had to go into the haematology department for some intervenes antibiotics to be administered. Now believe it or not I am not a complete idiot and that statement sent rather large alarm bells ringing. Having been told, quite patiently, by the doctor that no I could not wait till Thursday when my parents would be back to take over Operation Louise I then went in to full panic mode that involved my entire family and nearest neighbours. Having informed my family that I had to be in Inverness for 4pm and having a panic attack when Maggie came to check on me I was still ready, packed (only an overnight bag as denial is a wonderful thing) birds and animals fed and waiting for the ambulance, yes ambulance, that turned up.
So at 3.45pm I duly turned up at Raigmore hospital (the cut of time being 4pm) and was quickly set up in my own room with my own drip. Now here I have to be honest, I am so glad that it happened this way, as that night I went on to spike a rather high temperature which was scary enough in hospital and I can’t imagine what would have happened if it had just been Louise and myself at home.
The funny thing about that night is that the doctors were trying to tell me what was going on without using the C word and I was trying to get my head around what was going on without using the C word but we all knew why I was there. The next morning a very brave doctor came in and told me that they were pretty sure that I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) but they were just waiting for the blood results. Now the person that I though I knew myself to be should at that time done something, burst into tears, had a full blown panic attack, gone into complete denial, but the real me turns out to be a little bit different, a little bit stronger than that. I took the news, what else could I do, and just got on with my day as best I could.
The next morning the same brave doctor came in and confirmed his suspicions and gave me a book on ALL to read. He also talked to me about the 2 different hospitals that they could send me to, Aberdeen or here at the Beatson, however as I have connections with Glasgow he was going to fight for a bed down here and all I can say is I am so grateful to him that he succeeded. After he left I allowed myself one small wobble where I phoned my family to let them know (however unsurprisingly my sweet little sister already knew my diagnoses) and I also called Alison, the girl that does the morning part of my shift, and just said to her “Hi, it’s Jade here. I have leukaemia” and before I knew it she was with me and stayed for the rest of the day. I think that is the moment that I truly realised how not alone I was going to be in this fight. Alison spent the day with me, talking, laughing, praying, phoning my family and we even went out for a walk for a bit. She was my rock and I could not have asked for a better friend.
That night it was confirmed that there was a bed down here for me and the next morning I was transferred to Glasgow, which would have happened by air ambulance except for the fog in Glasgow (bugger I have never been on a helicopter before), but instead I was taken down by one of the nicest ambulance crews I could have asked for. So here I am now, living on the penthouse floor of the Beatson and do you know something I am ok with that. The staff here are amazing, the patients are so upbeat and while my situation is some way from perfect I know that there are way worse things that could have happened to me or those that I love. I have to take this time to say how grateful that I am to be here now, I am in the best place that I can be with such a first class medical team and I know that with all of your support I can beat ALL and get on with my life whatever it holds for me.