Taking time off due to leukaemia

Short version

I’m on medical leave for the rest of 2017 due to acute myeloid leukaemia.

If you want to help me through my treatment, please give blood (UK).

I’d like my professional life to continue, so please keep asking me about forms and surveys.

Longer version

On 15th March 2017, my husband left the Churchill Hospital with a new kidney that is working well. We are deeply grateful to his surgical and medical teams, and to the family of the donor who made this possible for him.

Also on 15th March, I was told to report to hospital because I had dangerously low levels of platelets in my blood. The following day, I was diagnosed with leukaemia. The exact type is still to be confirmed, but it’s most likely to be a type of acute myeloid leukaemia.

The likely explanation is that this is a delayed side-effect of the chemotherapy that I had in 2001 as part of my treatment for breast cancer. I don’t regret having that chemo because it’s given me 16 cancer-free years.

My cancer treatment starts today with in-patient chemo that will last a few weeks. I anticipate having further cycles of in-patient chemo and probably some other treatments that will continue for the remainder of the year.

I’m entirely confident in my medical team that they will make the right decisions for me. If they had not diagnosed me and started treatment straight away, I could have easily dropped dead yesterday. Or today. Or any day now. I’m very glad that I have the choice not to do that.

Of course I am very appreciative of messages of support.

Some requests.


  • Do NOT send me any suggestions about my treatment. My medical team has my full confidence.
  • If you want to help me through this, please DO¬†give blood (UK).


  • Please DO continue to ask me questions about forms and surveys. You will understand that I may or may not answer them depending on how I feel.

I’d like my professional life to continue, and it”s up to you all to make that happen.