Born and bred
in Far North Queensland, Lyn Chiozzini’s leukaemia diagnosis meant leaving
behind loved ones for months of treatment in Brisbane.
Working in a
local cafe, Lyn, 54, thought frequent trips home to nap were simply a sign of
getting “old and tired”. Suffering from chronic rheumatoid arthritis, she was
used to having regular visits to the doctor. But when her blood tests started
showing her neutrophils were steadily dropping to a dangerously low point, she
was sent to the haematologist.
“I just thought
perhaps it was anaemia or low iron levels. Cancer didn’t even cross my mind,”
“My husband, Gino,
came with me to the appointment and we were in total shock when I got the
Blood cancer diagnosis
diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in October last year and her treatment began
first round of chemotherapy, Lyn contracted pneumonia. She then spent three
days in intensive care after developing a lung infection. After her third round
of chemotherapy, Lyn and Gino were sent to Brisbane for a stem cell transplant.
family, including two children and four grandchildren, live in Moresby, a small
town south of Innisfail, but she says Gino was there for her “every step of the
the Leukaemia Foundation gave us a lot of information about what to expect and
organised accommodation for us at their Herston Village, near the Royal
Brisbane and Women’s Hospital,” Lyn said.
“It was so
overwhelming when we arrived. It was such a huge hospital and everything felt
Stem cell transplant
None of Lyn’s
four siblings were a match for the stem cell transplant so a 39-year old
American man became her unrelated donor. Following her transplant, Lyn enjoyed
a relatively smooth recovery and spent only 15 days in hospital.
“Don’t get me
wrong, I got very sick during the chemotherapy leading up to the transplant. I
was warned the melphalan would knock me around, and it did!” Lyn explained.
fatigue is still the most prominent side effect of her cancer but she knows she
is growing stronger each day.
“I have been
given a second chance at life and I’m not taking that for granted. I’m grabbing
it with both hands.”
to your generosity, we’re able to give people with blood cancer vital support
services and fund life-saving research. You can help give more Australians the
support they need by donating to our Christmas Appeal. Click here and give
More Inspiring Stories