Last year was very tiring due to a deterioration in my mum’s health and around May/June I felt very tired – bags under the eyes, really struggling at work. I went to the doctor, who thought my digestion should be investigated, as I had problems before, and there could be bleeding, although there was no sign of this. I was given iron tablets.
Some time later, on ringing for the results of a blood test, I spoke to another doctor, who happened to take a look back at my previous results over a period of time. He said that I should be referred to haematology, as it looked as if the problem could be related to my blood. He took me off the iron tablets. In the early autumn I went to see a consultant about my digestion and arrange tests, but asked for referral. This led to lots of tests: blood, x-rays, bone marrow. To start with I wasn’t sure about what the problem might be – then as I started to see the phrases mentioned I realised myeloma might be a possibility. This coincided with my mum’s deterioration and eventual death in early November. It was a very difficult time, and I was very anxious and took beta blockers and even Prozac to get me through everything – I felt ashamed of this at the time, but it really helped me to survive. School was the best place to be as it kept me occupied.
On December 18th I was officially diagnosed with myeloma, and oddly the anxiety left me almost immediately (I was able to wean myself off beta blockers and Prozac over some weeks in the spring). The consultant was reassuring. My myeloma was at an early stage. My bones were not damaged. I could be treated and put into remission., even though myeloma is not cureable.
I did not start treatment until after mum’s memorial service on 25th Jan and also the colonoscopy which I still needed. The school was very supportive. I then went on sick leave.