My bone marrow came from Germany...
Hello everyone, my name is Olaia, I am 29 years old and my story begins in May 2010, 5 months after I moved in with my boyfriend Alex. During the months of February, March and April 2010, I started to suffer from dizziness and vomiting. It wasn't too serious until one day at work I became so dizzy that I almost fell to the floor. I went to A&E and on the 25th of May after several days of tests, I was told that I had acute myeloid leukaemia. We were very scared (obviously we were scared!) who wouldn't be scared by the words, leukaemia and cancer? But no, my time had not come yet; I wanted to know all I could to ensure that this merely became a parenthesis in my life; to come out of it with a lesson learned and even more desire for life than ever before. The treatment was hard; there was vomiting, fever, mouth ulcers, bad tastes, and above all loss of hair. That was a big shock for me, as I had always had long hair. However, my hair is now growing again and I can say: everything passes!
Alex, during Olaia isolation
Before I began the chemo, I was lucky to be able to freeze my own eggs, so that if I became sterile after everything had passed then I would still be able to become a mother with my own eggs. If freezing my eggs didn't work then there was always the option of adoption. I will never be able to thank my boyfriend Alex enough for the wonderful manner in which he has adapted to this situation, and accepted all the changes that it has caused for us. I want to also thank my family and my friends who have been there every day, in the good times and the bad.
What can I say about chemo that you don't already know? It's horrible but it cures us. It can be tough of course but it is only for several months after which you have your whole life ahead of you. What can I tell you about the transplant? Well, the days in the hospital are never-ending and when they finally let me out of hospital I went out into the street and cried with joy. How many times will I cry just to see the street...I have now passed 4 months since the transplant and the results could not be better: not a single cancerous cell was found in the last puncture of my bone marrow. I am still here, regaining my strength, with medication everywhere and with reviews every two weeks, but it will all pass...LEUKAEMIA CAN BE CURED that is for sure!!!
As i said at the start, I had just moved in with my boyfriend when it all started and we were planning to get married in 2012. In the hospital I even started making wedding lists and looking at churches etc. We will have to wait another year more but the wedding is what kept me full of joy and gave me strength in the harder moments in the hospital, when people couldn't even touch me and I couldn't see their mask covered faces. Up to this point I have been able to go to the wedding of some very special friends of mine.
Olaia and Alex, in the wedding of some special friends
There only remains for me to show my encouragement for everyone and to say, if you can, be a bone marrow donor or at least a blood donor. It doesn't cost anything and for us, the patients, it saves a life. My bone marrow came from Germany but who knows if one day your bone marrow could save someone's life? Thanks to all of you who are already donors!!
Read an interveiw with Olaia, HERE
Help people like Olaia by becoming a member of the cure for leukaemia and haematological malignacies, HERE. You will help us to continue our research so that one day these diseases will be 100% curable. With only a little you can do so much. Thank you!
Find out more about bone marrow donation, HERE