Ace’ was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia on a routine blood test while waiting for a hip replacement but recognises with hindsight that he had lost weight. He is having arsenic-based chemotherapy in a clinical trial, which has achieved remission.
Ace had waited over a year for a hip replacement operation when his surgeon told him he couldn’t operate because of the results of a blood test he had had. He was referred to another doctor who took two bone marrow samples. When he returned for the results Ace was told that he had a type of incurable cancer, the name of which he could not understand. He was very shocked and went straight to the pub and got drunk. His 88 year old mother, whom he lives with, was very upset, as were the rest of his family, and the news spoiled their Christmas.
After Christmas the doctor phoned him to say that she had told him the wrong diagnosis and he actually had acute myeloid leukaemia and should go to the local cancer centre and expect to be kept in for treatment. He went and was given strong chemotherapy over six days through a central line in his neck. After he was sent home the line became infected so he was readmitted to hospital for the infection to be treated and the line removed. At his request a replacement line was fitted in his arm rather than his neck, which has caused no problems so far.
Ace then agreed to take part in a clinical trial of an arsenic-based chemotherapy. He has so far had four blocks of treatment with breaks in between, which has put him into remission and he feels well. He hopes to continue with four more blocks of treatment but has been worried by a letter he received from the local Primary Care Trust saying that they may not continue to fund it. Meanwhile he takes strong painkillers for his hip and walks with a crutch. He hopes that his operation will go ahead after the chemotherapy.
Ace had to give up his work playing in a band because of his bad hip and has been living on state benefits. However, these will stop in a few weeks time when he reaches his 65th birthday, and be replaced by a state pension. Ace expects the pension to be less than his current income, so says he will to have to go back to work, when he can, to bring in more money.