LIVING WITH CML - Patient stories to help better understand daily life with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

Lisa Machado lives in Toronto, Canada. She was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2008, when her son Anthony was just one year old, and her daughter Grace was three.
Lisa is the founder of the Canadian CML Network. She is also a journalist, writing about the challenges facing people living with cancer, but also exploring what it means to be a patient in Canada’s healthcare system.
She is the Executive Producer of, a new health advocacy website run by one of Canada’s national newspapers.
"My story living with CML begins when I decided to see a doctor about a strange-looking bruise on my arm, I had no idea that my life was about to change forever.

After taking a look at the bruise, which had been getting bigger for a couple of months, my doctor took a deep breath and suggested that I go to the hospital as soon as possible. 

Twelve hours later, a young resident in red high top Converse shoes leaned against my hospital bed and told me that I had a rare blood cancer called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).

That night I walked between my children’s bedrooms, lying with them as they slept, listening to their breath and smelling their hair. I wondered if I was going to die and leave them without a mother.

The next day I met an oncologist who told me that there was a medication that treated CML.

He said that I had the ‘lucky leukemia.’

At the time, I didn’t feel so lucky.

My life quickly changed from carefree and spending my time focused on being a good mom, to visits to the cancer clinic and painful tests.

That was 12 years ago, and I am still here.

My children are teenagers."
"My wish for them is that by the time they are my age, cancer is no longer a disease that kills."
Inspiring CML patients 
"My experience with CML and my work as an advocate has taught me three important things about moving forward with a scary disease.

First, find a doctor who you trust, who is willing to answer your questions, and take the time to educate you on your disease.

Second, find your friends who you can call or visit any time if only to talk about how worried you are. CML may be treatable for many, but for many others, it is a death sentence. We need to be able to share our worries.

Third, find your community. I learned that the key to moving ahead with CML was meeting other people who also had CML and shared my experiences. I realized that I was not alone."
Lisa participating in the annual CML Horizons Conference
Lisa is the author of the award-winning "Living Well with CML: What you need to know to live your best life with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia."
She has been interviewed by CTV News, Rogers Media and the CBC on what it means to live with a serious chronic illness.
She has also been featured in a number of newspaper articles, and has written for The Caregiver Network and Cure magazine.
Additionally, Lisa is currently the CML Advocates Network treasurer and a very active  CML-CAB member representing North America.
Send your supporting comments to Lisa on Facebook by clicking this button
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Patient stories to help better understand 
daily life with 

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)


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