Michael was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia after scratches on his hands acquired through gardening did not heal. He was treated with two cycles of chemotherapy and an allogenic reduced intensity bone marrow transplant. He is in remission.
Michael scratched his hands on some roses while gardening. When the scratches didn’t heal his GP suggested a blood test. The next morning he went to a nearby hospital for his blood test before cycling to work. Later that day the hospital called saying they wanted to admit him that evening for further tests and he was advised not to cycle. At the hospital he felt that the doctor was being indirect so explained that some of his work covered the leukaemia field, at which point the doctor told him this was what he had but they needed more tests to determine which type.
He was allowed home for that night and returned next day for a bone marrow test and was told he would be fitted with a central line on Monday and start chemotherapy on Tuesday. At home over the weekend he made a series of phone calls to inform people of the situation, including his employer, saying that he aimed to continue working from his hospital bed.
On the Monday Michael was told the specific diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia, warned that a bone marrow transplant was likely to be needed, had his Hickman line inserted and was installed in his isolation room. He only left the room for a weekly x-ray and had to eat a neutropenic diet to reduce the risk of infection. He was able to work via an internet connection. He stayed in hospital for a month for his first cycle of chemotherapy, which caused fluid retention in his legs. He was allowed home for 4-5 weeks before being admitted for a 2nd cycle, during which his hair fell out and he lost his sense of taste. His recovery from the second cycle took longer than expected so the consultant omitted the planned 3rd cycle, moving straight to a reduced intensity bone marrow transplant using material donated by his sister.
He was allowed home 5 weeks later and in a few days had to be readmitted for antibiotics to treat an infection in his Hickman line, which was removed. A few weeks later, despite being on prophylactic antibiotics, he developed shingles, and the dose of his antibiotics was increased. Three years on Michael is still in remission.