deppoholic's Journey with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Survivor: Leukemia > Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 10 years ago, Female, Age: 26

  1. 1
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had been feeling cruddy for a month, but thought I was over doing it at school. I went to the doctor thinking I had mono, and was told the next morning I had leukemia.

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had never had surgery before, and when I heard about this I was scared. I also still had not comprehended that I had cancer. I was a bit overwhelmed at the time. The procedure did not go badly, I was just out of it after the big news.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Other

    Clinical Trial

    When asked if I wanted to be a part of a clinical trial, I was hesitant because I did not want to get a drug that did not work. When I was told I had a 50% chance of getting the same medicine that I would have gotten anyway, I said yes. I also always had the option to back out of it. I looked at it like this: as long as I was being treated by a method they had faith in, if I could eventually help someone else, then it would be worth it.

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had to take the year off from school and had to put my life as I knew it on hold. I did not get too nauseous, which I was very lucky. It took awhile for my hair to all fall out, which was difficult for me to watch. I would shave my head if I had to go back in time. Basically, chemo meant a lot of time in the hospital: whether inpatient or waiting in the clinic for results/infusions. It could have been much worse.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Blood sugar, high (diabetes)

    Side Effects

    A medicine that was saving my life gave me temporary high blood sugar. The doctors took away the thing I love to eat most: sweets.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Remission

    Celebration

    In half the expected time, I hit remission. Only 2 years and 4.5 months to go of treatment.

    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    One of my shots severed a nerve in my leg. For about 3 years it hurt. Now it is nearly back to normal, which is great since nerves are tricky things.

    0 Comments
  8. 8
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Granted a Make-A-Wish

    Celebration

    I was told I qualified for a Make-A-Wish, and I would eventually meet Johnny Depp! He became my inspiration to live at that moment.

    0 Comments
  9. 9
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    Really? I want to know who does not lose their hair on chemo!

    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Rash

    Side Effects

    My legs got welts all over them that were swollen and hot to the touch. They hurt a lot, and started off red. My legs also filled with fluid, and I was almost removed from the clinical trial since not even a specialist knew what was wrong with me. I have one lasting scar from the first rash I got. It truned black and cracked over time, now just looks like a huge bruise.

    0 Comments
  11. 11
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Anemia (low red blood cell counts)

    Side Effects

    How can this NOT be a side-effect when all of your chemo is killing your blood cells? The most annoying about this, was I had to wait to see if I needed a transfusion before they would ever let me go home, and if I needed one they were four-eight hours each. Boring!

    0 Comments
  12. 12
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Foot Drop

    Side Effects

    I had trouble walking during treatment, and it has gotten much better. My heel doesn't move my foot the way it should, and my feet "flap" as I walk. I still have trouble running, but in the beginning I was unable to even walk up stairs.

    0 Comments
  13. 13
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Hot flashes

    Side Effects

    Yeah steroids!

    0 Comments
  14. 14
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Depression/Anxiety

    Side Effects

    Never diagnosed as such, but I gave up for awhile. There was a time I was stuck in the hospital, saw my friends living normal lives, and saw how drastically different my life was. Then I found my thing that kept me fighting: Johnnt Depp. And I got over it.

    0 Comments
  15. 15
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Birthday

    Celebration

    My 17th birthday was the same day as the hospital's birthday, and the date Sweeney Todd came to DVD. My friends came up to visit me, and we had a good time. I was in for chemo, but it was still a good day.

    0 Comments
  16. 16
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Junior Prom

    Celebration

    I was in the hospital and told if I left, I would come back in an ambulance. My immune system (ANC) was at 5. I went, and had a good time, but could not eat, smile, or talk, on account of mouth sores. And my mom was sick, so I could not even go anywhere near her in my beautiful gown. Everyone at the hospital (I left on a 4 hour pass) was so supportive and awesome.

    0 Comments
  17. 17
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    This looks terrible I am dwelling on the side-effects, but they happen. I'm alive to complain, so I'm not complaining! The chemo really slowed down my process for learning, and gave me short-term memory loss. As a straight-A student, I had to drop my honors classes, and was having difficulties with the normal level. It was depressing.

    0 Comments
  18. 18
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Mood changes

    Side Effects

    I had mood swings, many of which I was not aware of until I got better. People would turn on me, and I did not realize how I was treating them. I could have handled everything with more grace, but some of it was influenced by the chemo.

    0 Comments
  19. 19
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Stool leakage

    Side Effects

    I don't want to talk about this. I had constipation and this, as well as a rash in a bad location for everyone to have to examine. I've moved on.

    0 Comments
  20. 20
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Hair is back

    Celebration

    My hair started to come back in! Not at all how it was before, but it was nice to see it again!

    0 Comments
  21. 21
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    To be done with a treatment that took 2.5 years felt wonderful. I am so happy everything turned out for the best, and am thankful to everyone who helped.

    0 Comments
  22. 22
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    port removal

    Procedure or Surgery

    They knocked me out and ripped the port out of me. Later that day, I went and set up the survivor dinner for the Relay For Life the following day, and stayed the whole weekend. It was a nice way to part with the last ties to my cancer treatment.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
  23. 23
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Lost loved one

    Loss

    Loss is a part of life, and you get too many lessons when you're close to someone with cancer. I lost one friend I made in the hospital, an inspirational girl with the same disease as me from my town, and the most wonderful woman I have ever known, who was like a second mother to me within two years of each other.

    0 Comments
  24. 24
    • deppoholic
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic L...
    about 5 years ago
    deppoholic's Avatar

    Make-A-Wish

    Celebration

    4 years later, Make-A-Wish called, and my family was off to meet Johnny Depp in LONDON! It was so amazing, and more than I had ever dreamed it would be. It was a wonderful experience to share with the people that were there with me through it all.

    0 Comments