Experience of bilineage leukaemia?

My partner passed away, at the age of 50, ten days after his leukaemia diagnosis and after only four days of us knowing that he had a combination of Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and ALL. The shock and speed is something I’m struggling to cope with; always wondering whether we missed something that could’ve helped him sooner. How rare is this? Could his outcome ever have been more positive? So many questions.


Hi @TLC42

I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, and the shocking circumstances surrounding his death. This must be so very difficult to come to terms with. But this forum is a wonderful place for support. I hope you find it helpful.

Whilst I’m not familiar with bilineage leukaemia, I had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia last year at the age of 50, so your post has really hit a nerve with me. Everything happened very quickly with me too - one minute I was fine, the next I was slightly breathless and being rushed to hospital for transfusions and tests, and then diagnosis and treatment. I will never forget the speed and horror of it all. The combination of speed and horror, makes an acute leukaemia diagnosis particularly hard to come to terms with. And to then lose someone so quickly following on from this… - well, I’m not surprised you’re having trouble getting your head round this. I’m so, so sorry. Have you thought about asking your GP to refer you for grief counselling? I think I would need this help in your circumstances.

From what I’ve learnt, acute leukaemias are called just that, because they develop so rapidly. The onset of symptoms is fast, but the symptoms can be very subtle and/or easily attributed to something else, so there’s often only a short window to identify the illness, and get the appropriate treatment started. In other words, it can be hard to spot and treat early enough. So it may be that you both really couldn’t have done anything more - perhaps symptoms were not obvious or worrying enough until the disease was quite advanced.

I recommend that you talk to the consultants about this, so that they can explain why everything happened as it did. It is part of their job to make clear why the situation progressed as it did. Don’t be afraid to approach them. I’m sure they would like to help you to understand and process things.

In the meantime, please feel free to talk to us here. Most of us have had personal experience of one of these terrible blood diseases. There is also a section on this forum called ‘Losing Someone to Blood Cancer’, where you can talk to others in your situation.

Sending love


Oh @TLC42 I am so glad you have found us and had the courage to post, you must be in such shock and it is natural to have so many questions.
Your partner was so young too which is extra shock.
From what you say, and I am not a medical person, I am sure you could not have done anything different and yes, unfortunately I have heard of other blood cancer patients passing away that quickly, it is a cruel, often invisible disease.
Perhaps grief counselling might help and Macmillian Cancer Support is a starting point. Otherwise your GP might be able to help or Cruse Bereavement Care.
With the festive season approaching it will be even worse for you.
If you would just like to talk to someone the Blood Cancer UK support line is there for you and we are always here on the forum.
Perhaps the thoughts and emotions you are experiencing are natural, give yourself time and be kind to yourself.
Please keep posting
Do you have any support from family and friends?

Dear @TLC42, I am so very sorry to hear that your partner passed away from bilineage leukaemia. I am glad you have chosen to join the Forum and I do hope you find the amazing members a support. No wonder you are in shock, it sounds like such a rapid decline. I hope you are getting support at home and also that you’ve been able to talk things through with your partners treatment team? Please do contact the Support Services team Blood cancer information and support by phone and email | Blood Cancer UK either by email or phone and we can talk things through. Take care Gemma

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