Frances D, 85 years old.
I was diagnosed with essential thrombocythaemia (ET) in March 2018, after moving to a new GP who spotted my high platelets, and referred me to haematology where ET was diagnosed and confirmed by a bone marrow biopsy. I felt well physically, and the diagnosis I received, along with the information booklet explaining MPNs, didn’t cause me any alarm.
I was prescribed 75 mg Aspirin and 500 mg Hydroxycarbamide daily, and together these brought my platelets down. I had to stop taking Hydroxycarbamide for a while after being diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2018 and having a lump removed followed by radiotherapy.
After restarting Hydroxycarbamide a year ago, my platelets are now back down to a normal level. Following a clot in a vein near my knee in March 2020, just before lockdown began, I was also put on Clopidogrel.
I have changed the time of day that I take my medication, as it was making me nauseous when I took it with my other medications, and caused stomach aches, which still occur.
I try to exercise at least twice a week, doing a 30 to 40 minute walk, even when I’m feeling fatigued.
My friends and family, especially my husband, are very understanding, despite ET being a difficult illness to explain.