Ok… so this is a bit embarrassing. On last week’s Real Reflective Practice on the theme of ‘Creativity’, I opened the show with a story about a song I wrote to help me learn about leukaemia in med school, and I said I would share the full lyrics after the show. I’m now slightly regretting that promise, but I’ll keep word – here they are!

As I said on the stream, forgive any errors or outdated info – this was written way back in 2008 when I was just a baby pre-clinical student! I hope it gives you a giggle at least and er, don’t judge my poetry-writing skills on this, will you?


(To be sung to the tune of ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen)

Verse 1

These patients turn up really sick,

Cos this disease can kill you quick,

They’re breathless and they sometimes have anaemia,

Their lymph nodes often can get huge

They turn up pale and hot and bruised,

Their marrow fails and gives them neutropaenia,


Acute leukaemia… X4

Verse 2

It gets the young, the peak’s 4 years,

A slightly larger spleen appears,

In adults it can come from Philadelphia,

It’s classified by FAB and spreads

To the testicles and the CNS,

It’s called acute lymphoid leukaemia.


Acute leukaemia X4

Verse 3

A third of these have Auer rods,

It’s treated over months because

I’m talking ‘bout acute myeloid leukaemia,

It’s linked with things like PNH,

Chemicals and increasing age,

And myelofibrosis and dysplasia.


Acute leukaemia X4

Verse 4

This sneaky one can have no signs,

In CLL, B-lymphocyte

Haemolysis and mets can cause anaemia,

Binet says old men are at risk,

It can cause recurrent sepsis,

From hypogammaglobulinaemia.


Chronic leukaemia x4

Verse 5

The middle-aged get CML,

When chemicals make rogue stem cells,

And almost every case has Philadelphia,

They sweat a lot, they’re losing weight,

Their massive spleen gives them abdo pain,

With no transplant they can get acute leukaemia.


Chronic leukaemia x4


3 thoughts on “Hallelujah”

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