In June 2017 my son, Tom, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. He was travelling in South East Asia at the time and had to fly home straight away where he was admitted to hospital in Cheltenham.
Tom had two rounds of chemotherapy. After the first round he was told that he was classified as high risk and that if he went into remission he would need a transplant to reduce the risk of reoccurrence. Test results after the second round showed that Tom’s body hadn’t reacted how the doctors had hoped.
We were left in limbo for two weeks. At this point Tom, my husband John, and I started to take an active role and look for other ways that could improve Tom’s health. Before this point Tom had been quite passive and followed the pathway that the doctors advised for his treatment. Tom became open to trying anything and changed his diet and started using CBD oil. We decided to get in touch with Penny Brohn UK after looking at the charity’s website.
Another biopsy showed that Tom had suddenly gone into spontaneous remission and was able to have a transplant.
Everything started very quickly and we didn’t have time to attend any of the courses offered by Penny Brohn UK so they organised a bespoke package of support for our family. Before having his transplant, Tom went to Penny Brohn UK’s National Centre near Bristol and had a session on meditation with Sarah.
In October 2017 Tom had his transplant. The treatment was a lot more intense and Tom was in isolation at the Transplant Centre of the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He was on the highest level of morphine drip but was still in pain. Tom realised he needed to take control and used the meditation techniques he was taught by Sarah to help him deal with the pain. Whilst in hospital Tom joined a meditation group and was keen to try complementary therapies on offer including shiatsu and head massage.