Archive for October, 2013

Chemo – round 1

Day 2 of 7, and the first holiday that I spent in the hospital. We really wanted to give out candy, it was our first Halloween in the house we started renting at the beginning of the year…the first time we’ve lived together without roommates.

Chemo – round 1 / Diagnosis

Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Further tests showed that I had a subtype of M2, with translocation of chromosomes 8 & 21. I was told my prognosis was good.

Began “7+3” chemo regimen. Cytarabine is given continuously for 7 days, and daunorubicin is given as an IV push (30 minutes once a day for the first 3 days).

I was terrified to start chemo – I was very underweight due to my prior gallbladder issues, and I am phobic about vomiting. My appetite was still all over the place. I had horrible visions of withering away to nothing. One of my doctors turned my thinking around, explaining that the chemo would allow me to recover and get back to a healthy weight, and at this point the leukemia was keeping me from doing so. He also made sure I got plenty of anti-nausea medication. I have tolerated chemo fairly well, and have not vomited once from it through all 7 rounds. I think that I tolerate all of the other digestive issues that come with with it pretty well due to a life long history of digestive issues – bloating, constipation, possible gluten intolerance. Fun stuff.

Since chemo is toxic and sweats out of the pores, I was unable to have much physical contact with my husband. We often joked about not wanting to rot his flesh off with my chemo sweat, but it truly sucked. I rarely sweat normally, and I sweat a lot through chemo. My sweat and urine stunk like the poison running through my body, and nothing tasted like it should. Surprisingly, my appetite was very good regardless, and I ate quite well.

 

Bone Marrow Biopsy #1

Biopsy #1

Results: 26% blast of leukemic cells.

Done as inpatient at Immanuel Medical Center.