You would be hard-pressed to find someone today untouched by cancer in one form or another. While some types of cancer tend to be outwardly visible, blood cancer patients know that their journey is different.
Cutting blood cancer out of your body, like a tumour, is not an option. It is an invisible disease for the most part and brings a range of vague symptoms that can be overlooked or misdiagnosed. This causes frustration and confusion when patients are advocating for themselves with their healthcare professionals.
Sadly, the hurdles do not disappear once a diagnosis is confirmed. After their hair grows back, the assumption is that a patient is cured. Many people reading this will know that struggle all too well. In some instances, the diagnosis of a blood cancer or blood condition is a lifelong journey. How do you explain to your family and whanau that the “battle” you face is ongoing?
On top of these specific challenges, our patients are still coming to grips with, and navigating, life with cancer. Wrapping your head around all of these touchpoints can be exhausting and seem impossible.
That is why spreading awareness and advocating for Kiwis living with a blood cancer or serious blood condition is crucial.
Five blood cancer leaders are taking the conversation globally. It is time to give blood cancer our full attention.
We need your help to raise awareness of blood cancer this Blood Cancer Awareness Month and we’ve aimed to make this as easy as possible.