Welcome to my Leukaemia pages. My name is
Chris Walles, and I set up the site after I was diagnosed
with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) back in May 2000. I was
'fortunate' to have been diagnosed by chance rather than by
symptom. People who are diagnosed from their symptoms tend
to have a more advanced state of Leukaemia, so I was lucky
enough to continue a normal life while decisions were made
as to what course of treatment to follow.
I was 26 years old at diagnosis, and opted for a bone marrow
transplant knowing that it was the only option (albeit a risky
one) for a complete cure, provided a matching donor could
be found on the registries. My brother was not a match, therefore
we waited 18 months before finding a suitable donor for the
operation. In the meantime I was on hydroxyurea pills until
I received my bone marrow in February 2002 at the Hammersmith
Hospital in London from a German woman whom I didn't know
through the international register.
It's now been over four years since the transplant. I made
an excellent physical recovery, albeit a couple of stones
lighter. However within eight months of the transplant the
leukaemia started to become detectable, and a relapse commenced.
12 Months post transplant I received more treatment in the
form of donor lymphocyte infusions (DLI). The first DLI didn't
work. A second DLI transfusion six months later also didn't
have the desired effect. The third DLI transfusion in February
2004 has been successful in-so-far as the leukaemia has gone,
and now I'm fighting the effects of lung GVHD and a couple
of serious lung infections.