IT’S been a long hard journey, but Katherine Sinfield is celebrating the news that her leukaemia is now in remission.
The 33-year-old, who lives in Balfour Street, Burton, has been crossing her fingers for this day ever since she underwent a bone marrow transplant last year when doctors said it was the only way for her to survive cancer.
The teacher, who is married to Mail journalist Stephen, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and ever since has been fighting a battle to beat the disease while imploring others to sign up to be blood and bone marrow donors as part of the Mail’s Five Minutes campaign.
She said: “All of the early results show that my leukaemia is now in remission.
“Results from the bone marrow biopsy taken around the 100-day marker, along with detailed blood tests, show that I am clear of leukeamia and in remission – this is the first time since diagnosis that I have been clear of the condition.
“It’s too early to pop the Champagne corks as further tests are still needed on the bone marrow biopsy, but it’s safe to say that the Champagne can go in the fridge to start chilling.
“I’m still a regular visitor to the hospital in Birmingham and this will continue for years as leukaemia can be a tricky customer.
“The first two years following a transplant are important, as statistics show that if the leukaemia is going to return at any time, it is most likely to happen within the first two years.
“Once I reach the five-year remission milestone, it’s fairly safe to say that I am fully cured”.
As Katherine celebrates the news that her leukaemia is in remission, she continues to battle with the long-term side-effects caused by many doses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and her stem cell transplant.
She added: “I am suffering with bouts of Graft versus Host Disease which is what happens when my new German donor cells start attacking my body.
“These troublesome symptoms vanish as quick as they appear and tend to include a very sore mouth, stinging in my legs and patches of dry skin.
“In the past couple of weeks, I have been struggling with an intermittent pain.
“As a precaution, I’ll be visiting the hospital a little more frequently in the coming weeks for tests.
“It’s going to be a very long and complicated road back to full health, but at least I am currently free of leukaemia.”