Kiwi's story

When I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2012 it was a massive shock, but I tried to be as positive as I could. I went with my emotions and listened to my body and head. If I needed to cry I did, if I needed to be upset and angry at the world I did. Whatever emotion I had, I went with it. But ultimately, I always came back to trying to remain positive.

At first things went well – I got married shortly after my diagnosis and returned to work in the police force after my initial treatment. By 2014, I was starting to struggle. I separated from my wife and moved back in with my parents, and I was taken off front line duties due to the side effects of my medication.

I started having counselling through Flint House, a charity that supports police officers with physical and mental health, which really helped. Then in 2015, I went through six bereavements of close family and friends in seven months. I threw myself into work and didn’t really deal with what had happened. In 2016 I had a major breakdown and was signed off with stress, anxiety and depression.

At one point when I was feeling particularly low and didn’t want to put any more stress on my family, I called the Macmillan Support Line again. The person I spoke to listened, just like they did when I first called after my diagnosis, which was just what I needed at that time. I was worried about going back to work so they explained the rights I had under the Disability Discrimination Act. They were really reassuring and I’ll always be grateful for that.

It took a few months, but with the help of family, friends and work colleagues, as well as Macmillan and Flint House, I was able to return to work. By 2017 I was back to work on full hours, I had met the love of my life, and tests showed my leukaemia was in remission.

I still have some joint pain, but my cancer is currently under control. I feel as though I’ve come out the other side of all this and now want to share my experience in the hope of helping other people.

  • Coping with advanced cancer

    Find out what support is available to help you cope when you have been diagnosed with advanced cancer.

  • Incurable cancer forum

    A group on our Online Community specifically for people with an incurable or terminal diagnosis.

  • Financial support

    If cancer is affecting your finances, find out how we can make money one less worry.

  • Planning for the future

    Get information about ways to plan ahead and make choices about your future care if you have advanced cancer.