Why I've turned my cancer story into a book



From informing others to processing his diagnosis, there are lots of different reasons why Jake turned his cancer story into a book entitled My Leukaemia Fight. Jake was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2016 and relapsed in 2021. He shared his thoughts on the process of writing and publishing the book. £1 per book from the sales of My Leukaemia Fight will be split between Teenage Cancer Trust and DKMS.


Why I decided to tell my cancer story

My book started off as a diary in March 2016. It was my mum’s idea as I was upset about losing my hair after my first round of treatment, and she suggested that I cut off some of my old hair and stick it in my diary.

I made a good start with the diary, which provided an account of the first few days of treatment and it was illustrated by some really badly drawn cartoons by myself. I never did save a piece of my old hair because I eventually lost the diary! But I kept reflecting throughout my entire treatment, and was constantly writing about what was going on with it. I was able to put all these reflections in chronological order and I was able to provide an accurate account of my first journey with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.

Jake Chemo
Jake’s chemo treatment
Jake in January 2022




What I hope it may teach people

I wrote my book for a number of reasons.

I try to inform the general reader about leukaemia and cancer treatment. People will never know how difficult it is until they go through it themselves, and I hope that through my book I can put the reader in the shoes of a cancer patient.

I hope to provide an accurate account of the true struggle that cancer is, by not only informing the reader of the medical side of my diagnosis, treatment, and transplant, but also the social side: the impact on family and friends, financial issues, charity support, and moving from hospital to hospital.

I try not to make AML, and cancer in general, to be positive, because it isn’t. I would never want to go through cancer treatment again, and I never wanted to in the first place. But through my book, I try to show people that it’s not all doom and gloom either. Even though cancer has taken a lot away from me, the past seven years have been full of adventures and achievements, something which I would not have been able to do without my diagnosis. I have had many amazing experiences with charities, and my family have made great friends. I would never have been an author without my diagnosis! I want to show that you can turn a negative into a positive, and use a negative in your life to not only better yourself but other people.

I want to provide hope and inspiration to patients, and their families, who are going through something similar. I show that it’s possible to live a good, if not better, life after treatment. Even though I did ultimately relapse five years after my initial diagnosis, I show in my book how working towards your goals can inspire you to get better. I want to show that it is possible to bounce back from a cancer diagnosis.

What it feels like to have my book published

Jake with his book

It feels amazing. My book was originally intended to tell my first (and, at the time, only) journey with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2016. It also covered my five-year remission period and was ready for publishing in October 2021. But in December 2021, my AML unexpectedly relapsed and everything was put on hold as I wasn’t well enough to commit to such a big project, and I had to write more chapters for my book, telling the story of my second journey.

It feels great as I feel like I’ve accomplished something that was very nearly taken away from me. The publishing of my book was one of my main motivation goals to getting through treatment the second time. When it was finally published in February 2023 after almost seven years of writing, I felt so proud of myself because I knew how big the struggle was to get to that stage.


My Leukaemia Fight is available as both an ebook and in print.