Welcome to the Canadian CML Network. We are dedicated to providing social, emotional and educational support to people living with CML.
We have a lot of great things going for us. There is a solid stable of drugs that effectively keep people in remission, allowing them to live a normal lifespan. People living with CML are having children. And most exciting, it is becoming possible to live without medication.
So why are we launching this website?
A couple of years ago, we hosted our first “Living Well with CML” conference in Toronto. It was a full day of education, from the latest CML research, to tips on how to use food to manage side effects to emotional wellness.
By far, the session that had the most impact was a breakout session for caregivers. My husband Kevin joined that one, and he came back, describing how the conversation revolved around life-changing side effects and the uncertainty of the future. Despite reassurances by the nurse who moderated the session, it was an emotional hour. There were tears in the next session too, as a psychologist answered questions about how to manage the worry and anxiety that comes with living with cancer and what to do about relationships strained by the stress of illness. Afterwards, Kevin asked, “If the news is so great about CML, why are people crying?”
Great question. Why are people crying? Some were crying because they were new to CML and were struggling to deal with the fact that cancer was now a part of their lives. Some were crying because they were grieving – grieving the loss of their health, the loss of faith in their bodies, the loss of their “old” life. And some were crying because, finally, they were somewhere safe, where there were others who knew firsthand about the challenges that come with living with CML.
But the tears were just one part of what it means to live with CML. There were also stories of strength and resilience. Despite debilitating side effects like fatigue, we heard from people who had persevered and learned how to live well with this “new normal.” There were also people whose lives had been changed very little by CML, but who wanted to meet other people who shared their experiences.
Whether your story fits into the first group, the second, or you are somewhere in the middle, there is something for you here. From treatment information, to the latest nutrition and emotional wellness news, to insights from other people living with CML, the Canadian CML Network has what you need to manage your health, and live the best life possible in spite of CML. You are not alone.
Thanks for visiting,