At the young age of 30 years old, with 3 young children, Dubbo resident Regina Batton received the devastating news on Friday 25th August that she in fact had blood cancer. A day she will never forget.
Regina was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). With the average normal blood count range between 3,500 and 10,500, Regina’s blood test confirmed her blood count was only 34. She was rushed to her local Dubbo hospital immediately and given 4 blood transfusions to stabilise her.
The next day, Regina was transported to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for further testing and what was to be ongoing painful bone marrow biopsies. Intensive chemotherapy treatment started the next day for 7 days straight (24 hours a day), followed by a further 4 weeks ongoing treatment in hospital.
Regina was extremely unwell, exhausted from her treatments and missing her family terribly as she was separated from them for so long. Plus, during her treatment she was due to be married to the love of her live in Dubbo and consequently the wedding had to be cancelled.
At the end of September, Regina moved into the Leukaemia Foundation’s accommodation facilities located in Waverton Sydney and continued her treatment travelling back and forth daily for the next 5 months. Her partner and all 3 kids were reunited at the accommodation, residing there together with her until 31st January.
The family called the accommodation ‘home’ and had lovely memories there including Christmas together and meeting a developing new relationships with the community of people also staying at the accommodation, who were also going through a similar experience. They would share their stories and understand each other hardships over BBQ’s and lunches in the main community areas.
Regina and her family are now home however the path is still unclear for her. She returned to Sydney for a 3 day trip in February for another uncomfortable bone marrow biopsy and is required to continue to do this every 4 weeks until there is an improvement in her results. Currently the Batton family is sitting in a waiting game until there is improvement and they are keen to reschedule the wedding and have some happier times in the near future