100 DAYS IN REMISSION: EMMA'S STORY
Date: September 2023
Having been diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia and relocating from Wagga Wagga to Sydney for treatment, Emma is now 100 days post-stem cell transplant and is excited to return home, in remission.
EMMA AGE: 24
HOME: WAGGA WAGGA, NSW (ORIGINALLY FROM ADELAIDE)
DISTANCE TRAVELLED: 300KM
Saturday is day 100! I can’t believe it is here already! Hoping to return to Wagga on Monday for a few weeks then hopefully back to SA for the rest of the year with family.
I was the fittest and healthiest I’d ever been as I entered lifeblood to donate plasma for the first time…well at least that’s what I thought. A day after donating I was contacted by the lifeblood haematology team to have follow up testing done and within 6 days my life was flipped upside down as I was formally diagnosed with early T cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the ER of Sydney St Vincent’s Hospital. I had to relocate 5 hours from Wagga Wagga where I’d been studying, and couch hop at my partners families houses until we knew what the journey to come would look like and what kind of accommodation we would need. I was diagnosed in November of 2022 and after multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a stem cell transplant I can finally say now in September I am at day +100 post-transplant and am ready to return home, in remission.
I was admitted into hospital multiple times, having stints in and out but always being required to stay close to the hospital for treatment or consequent infections. My family came from South Australia to support me but found themselves extremely stressed with the unknown and spending hundreds of dollars to hotel hop to anything they could find. This is where we were introduced to the Sony Foundation, Quest Hotels and their ‘You Can Stay’ program. They were able to support not only me but my partner & family too in having a base here in Sydney that we could call home when we couldn’t go home.
To know we had a long-term place to call home relieved all the stress of hotel bookings or cancellations with unexpected hospital admissions or extensions, not to mention the financial and emotional burden of continued relocation. The team at Quest became like family, they always went above and beyond to ensure we felt supported and comfortable. I can’t express how grateful I was to be able to have somewhere I could call my own to administer chemotherapy drugs, shave my head when my hair fell out, cook homecooked meals, undergo an IVF cycle and hermit away in privacy… my room in Quest had seen it all. Having my partner and family in an adjoining room was imperative in my treatment and recovery and it was all made possible with the support from Sony and Quest.