Recently I was the keynote speaker at the 2020 Haematology Nurses & Healthcare Professionals Educational Conference in Zurich. Here is a snapshot of what I spoke about.
I am always happy to share my experience at these conferences because not a day goes by when I am not grateful to the excellent team who looked after me during my gruelling treatment. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without them. Not only did they have to deal with my complicated medical situation day in day out but they were the light during a very dark time and a trusted them 100%. I didn’t realise how much this meant at the time but now looking back I realise how much of a comfort it was.
The delegates at this conference were eager to hear from me so that they could learn from my experience and understand what a patient needs.
This was a European conference so my speech was translated and at the end of my speech I was asked questions by some of the delegates. One was regarding the lack of psychological support in my case and one asked if I could give any advise to her friend who was in a similar position with an 8 year old child.
My speech included;
- the lead up to my diagnosis focusing on the symptoms I was experiencing and that I had no idea it could be leukaemia.
- the first few hours, all of the tests I had and how overwhelming it was
- how I was told about my diagnosis, the treatment I would need and the consequences it would have
- my time in hospital and how much the nurses and medical team helped me through the gruelling treatment and my emotions
- the effects of my treatment
- my life since finishing treatment
- what would have helped me after my treatment, physically and mentally.
- the impact on my family, particularly my daughter
- physical recovery
- rebuilding my / our lives again
- the consequences of my diagnosis
- what I have learnt