Julius' Story - Myeloma

Julius' Story -

Myeloma

“I just couldn’t believe it. Everything just goes quiet – being told you’ve got cancer is the most devastating thing.” Julius, a Black Belt 6th Dan karate instructor from Surrey, was diagnosed with myeloma in 2019.

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“I went to the GP in August 2019 as I had an irregular heartbeat. They did an ECG and then recommended I went to the hospital for a blood test - where I was asked to come back for a biopsy. A few weeks later, they confirmed it was stage 3 myeloma.  

“I started six months of chemo in November 2019 and then had a stem cell transplant at the Royal Marsden in July 2020. It was a really tough time going through that treatment, and then the consultant said it didn’t work – that was definitely the lowest point of my whole experience.

“This was during Covid too – it really worried me and there were times I didn’t think I was going to make it – it was horrendous.

“My martial arts training helped me so much to get through this. Karate is so much about the mental side and it helped me to be strong.

“A month later, I started on a maintenance treatment called lenalidomide which I am still on now. There are side effects as it lowers your immune system and your blood count and thickens the blood too, which is why I need to take blood-thinners to stop the risk of stroke or heart attack.

“I can cope with it though, and I still exercise every day although I can get tired. I can’t run or walk fast anymore, and it’s painful walking uphill. There are days when it feels better and other days where I really need to take a break.

“I try to use my experience to help others and I overlook the downsides. I want to help others and that makes me feel good. Sharing my story with Stand Up To Cancer is part of this – if I can help one person, it will all be worth it.”

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