Luke was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia after feeling very tired. A six week course of intravenous pentostatin as an outpatient put him into remission. Five years on he still gets tired and has other health problems.
After recovering from surgery to treat peripheral vascular disease in his legs he started feeling very tired. His GP did some blood tests, repeated them and referred him to a consultant, saying he had a kind of leukaemia. At the hospital the consultant told him it was a rare but eminently treatable type of leukaemia called hairy cell’.
He was treated with a chemotherapy drug called pentostatin. He was given the drug intravenously once a week for six weeks, which gave him no side effects and put him into remission. Following treatment he developed a condition called polycythaemia in which the red blood cells are too numerous and had to have some removed.
He continues to see his consultant every year for blood tests. He still gets periods of intense tiredness but the tests show his leukaemia has not returned. Since his leukaemia he has experienced other health problems including a type of skin cancer called melanoma.