Seems very non me to be starting to write a diary. Started writing one when I was 12, mainly about the girls in my class and a few private details until my older brother got hold of it. Can't really remember what happened next...probably gave me a little brother knuckle or teased me until I got upset. Didn't usually get upset but when you have a brother who went through puberty at age 10 and was a giant, the only option was to either stay and fight or run to the safe area around mum or dad.
I'm here writing now because my old man and a few people said it would be good to look back at one day. The other reason is the fact that on 19th October 2005 I was first diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. It's much easier to write the words than to say it, not because it upsets me but because I don't feel like I have anything wrong with me. The docs say I would have had it for about 1 year and I was very lucky in which the way it was found. At 27 years old, although I'm starting to "ripen", I still feel fit enough to play rugby and do most things I have over the past 10 years. It was about 8 weeks ago when I was in fact playing rugby in Scotland and had a pretty hard game. We weren't too far into the game when I went in for tackle, the other bloke on the opposition team came in with a swinging arm and his fist mashed the side of my face, I could feel something crack and next minute I was laying on the dirt and the game continued. After a few sips of water and a few words of wisdom from the coach I was back on there again with my head feeling like a squashed melon and ears ringing. Maybe 10 minutes later I had a 17 stone guy on the opposition trample on my calf muscle with studded rugby boots. That was the time I thought I was over the hill and ready to hang the boots up...also a fair bit of persuasion from my fiance, her mum and my mum.
Next morning I woke up to a face that made the Elephant Man look handsome (not my fiance, I was looking in the mirror). My eye was black and my face was swollen as too my calf muscle. Two things went through my head : whats Karen going to think and whats another sport I can take up. I waited a couple of weeks and with my calf muscle still swollen, my face still swollen bruising when I have very rarely bruised in all my life, I decided to drag my old body to the doctor and get it checked out. It was explained to me that it's most likely a deep bruise and it's just taking a while to heal. The other thing done and the end of the consultation was to take a blood test...
A few days later a Private Number appeared on my mobile phone..it must be a drunk mate from back in Australia. I answered the phone to speak to Dr McKlintoch who, quite frantically, told me to come into Glasgow's Western Infirmary to speak with her regarding a "high white blood cell count". I understood that a high white cell count was due to infection, therefore I knew that the puffy calf muscle needed some antibiotics.
I was told to take my shirt off and losen my trousers...I guess she's only human! I was thinking it was odd to do this examination for a leg injury. After a quick chat about healthy siblings, etc, the words that next came out will haunt me and stay with me forever.."we are quite sure you have Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia". In with a sore leg and out with cancer...all in a days work.