Jane was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia after experiencing tiredness that interfered with her ability to work, forcing her to retire. Jane has been watching and waiting for four years but expects to have treatment soon.
Jane was becoming increasingly tired and having to take time off work. She also had an elevated heart beat despite having given up caffeine. She was also stressed by her father being ill. She went to the GP who did blood tests and referred her to a haematologist. Jane had to wait four months for the appointment during which time her tiredness had worsened, she had an episode of bleeding and bruising and was increasingly concerned. The consultant did more blood tests and Jane waited five more weeks before returning to be given a diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Initially her consultant talked about treatment but having read that this wasn’t always necessary or beneficial in the early stages Jane asked if it could wait. She has been on watch and wait for the past four years but is expecting to start treatment soon.
Jane felt cross about her diagnosis because it limited what she could do with her life. After struggling with her fatigue for a few more months after diagnosis she was forced to retire from her job on health grounds, about which she was very sad. She found it difficult to adjust at first and gradually learned to plan rest periods around the things she wanted to do. Other symptoms Jane has include enlarged glands in her neck, muscle cramps and abnormal reactions to insect bites.
Jane found it difficult to obtain information about CLL from her doctors so searched the internet. Amongst other useful sites she discovered the CLL Support Association and found it reassuring to meet other people who had the same problems. She has since become their Chair.