In my header I said I wasn't going to post my every ache and pain. In my last post I referenced :
- Bladder Infection
- Sweating like a pot boiling over on a stove
- Swollen Abdomen
- Tender Tummy
- Being Tired
- Unexplained Weight Loss (Like that is a PROBLEM???)
- Waaa, Waaa, Waaa
Long story short, I had Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). Normal white blood cell counts are 7,000 to 9,000. Mine was 189,000. Hospitalized for 4 days, went on a wonder drug called Gleevec.
This drug was FDA approved in 2001. Before this drug the life expectancy for people with CML was 3-5 miserable years. With Gleevec many people can live a normal life-span.
Gleevec usually has few side effects. Not so for me. I will not go into detail. I try to keep my promises. Lucky for me there are a couple of second generation drugs after Gleevec. I started on the one called Sprycel about 5 months ago. It is wonderful. CML is under control and the side effects are a lot better. There is a risk of developing drug resistance or the CML could mutate. But for now life is good. We do regular blood tests to monitor the blood counts, once a year we do a bone marrow check.
Interesting fact - Sprycel costs over $7,000/MONTH! Thank goodness for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I can't believe that much has to be paid out each month to keep me alive. Actually it's a LOT more than that with all my tests and Dr. bills. Scary.
6 months after the CML, I had a chunk of skin cancer removed from my back. Dr. thinks she got it all. Have a skin check once a year. All is well.
7 months after CML, gall bladder removed.
8 months after CML, diagnosed with blood clotting disorders, Essential Thrombocythemia and JAK2 and another I don't know the name of. For now I take a baby aspirin every morning, we're good to go. ET is actually a form of cancer, my paternal grandmother had it, my maternal aunt has it. Dr.'s say it is NOT hereditary. My Oncologist/Hematologist tells me this is more of a threat to me than the CML is at this point.
Did I mention that we sold the farm during this time. I was responsible for all the packing and moving! Including farm machinery, tools and everything you accumulate living on a farm for 15 years! The Big Guy was working his usual 16 to 18 hours/day in the trucking business we had just started. We built a house, I was responsible for all decisions! Thank goodness for family.
I CAN NEVER THANK MY FAMILY ENOUGH FOR ALL THE HELP THEY GAVE, AND GAVE, AND GAVE, AND GAVE AND GAVE AND GAVE AND GAVE.
Long story even shorter: Turning 40 sucked.