During the night of the 20th October 2015 I had a very vivid dream.
I dreamt I was walking down an old narrow stone stairway as part of a small group. The people in front of me were moving very slowly. I happened to look behind me and saw that an enormous wave like lava was moving slowly towards me. I found it interesting to see that there was a young man in the wave and wondered why he was there. He was dressed in a blue suit and tie and I thought that was odd. In that instant I was struck with a sense of fear and dread and knew that if the people in front of me on the tour did not hurry up that the wave would engulf me too as it was nearing my feet at this stage. I managed to get away from it just in time and waked out into the day light. After this in the dream I saw myself eating dinner with friends. I was happy and well. We overlooked a lake and in the distance I was able to see shops and modern day life, but I had an awareness that what I had seen in my dream and what I had escaped was behind all of this facade.
On the morning of the 21st October 2015 I went to my local hospital to have blood drawn to check my cholesterol. I had just turned 50 and was feeling very healthy but thought I ought to get it checked as it had been years since I had done so. That same afternoon whilst I was out shopping with my daughter, my GP phoned me to say that the hospital had phoned him as there was something wrong with my bloods and that he wanted to see me the very next morning.
On the 22nd October and with a sense of impending dread, I took myself to my GP’s surgery. He examined me, sat me down and told me there and then that I had CLL, but that I was lucky because it was a good cancer. He told me that my white blood cell count was extremely high, 110,000 at that time but that I would not need treatment if and until symptoms developed and that that might not be for many years. I asked him if he had many patients with CLL. He told me that he’d only known of two in all of his years in practice and that they were both alive and well. One of them he told me was a 93 year old man who had had it for 20 years and so far hadn’t required treatment. That gave me hope. He told me not to worry and that he would write to a consultant to get an appointment for me. I saw a consultant a month later but in the interim was very anxious indeed. However I remembered my dream and although I was anxious I felt deep down that all would be well.
In November I went to see a Haematologist in Dublin. He told me that they would do a FISH test to determine what type of CLL I had and that he would like to see me again in three months time. When I saw him three months later the news was very positive. He told me despite the fact that I had a very high white blood cell count, my FISH tests were favourable from a prognostic point of view in that I had 13q deletion which was CD38 negative. He told me that I was at stage A in the disease and would probably be in a watch and wait situation for quite some time to come and that if and when I might need treatment that it would more than likely be very effective in my case and quite possibly put the disease into remission for many years. I left his office feeling grateful and reassured.
It is is now a year and a half since I was diagnosed. My white blood cell count is now 133,000 but I am still very well and still at stage A. I get bloods done every six months and visit the consultant at that time also.
Last summer (2016) I dreamt that my daughter would be taken ill but that she would be alright. I tried to forget about the dream and brushed it under the carpet. She became very ill that July while we were on holidays and spent seven days in hospital after being diagnosed with diabetes type one. She was only 12. It’s almost a year since then and she’s doing great now and has such a positive attitude regarding her condition.
Sometimes we don’t know why bad things happen to us but because of my Christian faith and the dreams I have had, I know that all will be well and that I am not on my own in all of this and nor is my daughter or indeed our whole family.
Thank you for reading my story and I wish you too all the very best on your CLL journey.
Anne Kenny, 50 at diagnosis, female