I'd known that there was something wrong with me for several years, but after many tests, no doctor came up with a real answer.
Earlier this year, in March, after a routine blood screening (and a bone marrow biopsy), I was diagnosed with a pretty rare type of Leukaemia, it's called "Hairy cell Leukaemia". (if untreated, apart from other nasty symptoms, your immune system is slowly destroyed until your body can't defend itself against infections)
Bad as this may sound, there was some good news: out of all the different types of leukaemia one can get, mine had a good prognosis... provided one of the two chemotherapy treatments currently available worked. (recovery rates of over 80% are not common for any type of cancer).
I had chemo sessions for nearly 4 months.
Side effects can be pretty bad... although I guess I can't really complain given what other chemos for other types of cancer are like.
Just a few hours ago I got some pretty good news: My last biopsy shows that there's no sign of hairy cell leukaemia in my bone marrow.
I'll have to do checkups every 3 months or so, and as you know, cancer can come back, but this was pretty good news after a long battle.
My immune system is still recovering (the chemo not only destroys the nasty cells, also the good ones) and although I do some bike riding every day, I'm physically at around 60% of my usual strength, which isn't bad.
My side effects? irregular heart beats (visiting the cardiologist regularly) but first checkups indicate that it is quite possible that I will recover well from that also.
Anyway, having a serious illness like this does change you. For example, I'm not someone who likes to speak much about my personal life, but... what the hell, I've learned that sharing good news is a good thing!
Have an awesome Christmas season everyone!