brat's Journey with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Survivor: Leukemia > Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 10 years ago, Female, Age: 52

  1. 1
    • brat
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemi...
    about 5 years ago
    brat's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had never been seriously sick and then when I turned 40 I was admitted to the hospital with what I thought was the flu and found out I had double pneumonia, a septic body infection and suspected AML but once a bone marrow was performed it was confirmed to be ALL. They said if I hadn't gone to the hospital when I did, I would have died in 12-24 hrs. I later found out that I had turned blue and stopped breathing in the ER. Upon finding these results I was told I would have to spend at least the next 30 days straight for the treatment for all 3 to begin. I was told how serious this disease was and that I had a small percentage of survival but that there weren't alot of statistics because this was a childhood disease and not usually seen in adults. I was told I had to start a very aggressive treatment of chemo (after the 30 days) which would include 3 weeks in the hospital and 1 week out for at least a year and a half. That in and of itself terrified me because I had never stayed in a hospital, let alone been away from home that long.

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  2. 2
    • brat
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemi...
    about 5 years ago
    brat's Avatar

    methotrexate in my spine, multiple shots, and chemo thru a hickman

    Procedure or Surgery

    First, I was in the hospital for 30 straight days, then I was in 3 weeks and out 1 for around a year and a half. Even though I was suppose to be out a week I usually ended up back in due to complications usually dehydration from vomiting or reactions to anti nausea meds. They gave me methotrexate in my spine which was awful because I had to lie flat for 24 hours afterwards and NOT move or end up with a XXX of a headache and it also caused seizures so that had to be discontinued. I ended up taking it in pill form. I had to have multiple blood transfusions and of course bone marrow tests. Once the year and a half of inpatient treatment it was outpatient chemo and daily shots for around another 6 months and ended in 10/2007. Also during the time of having the hickman implanted it was awful because I couldn't take a shower only a sink bath due to the possibility of infection. I also lost my hair 3 different times as well. Luckily one med that I was given Ativan, actually allowed me to be calm forget alot of what was occurring at the time but my partner kept a journal of everything that happened so I can read it and I say how did I ever survive? This experience made me realize I had no choice but to get past the fear of doctors and hospitals real quick.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • brat
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemi...
    about 5 years ago
    brat's Avatar

    All of the list except pain meds

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Chemo made me lose my hair 3 times and caused me to be nauseous 24/7 and all of the anti-nausea meds I had a reaction (restless legs syndrome) except for Zophran which was hard to come by because of the regulation by blue cross. I hated the daily shots to boost my white and red blood cells count. I hated the vomiting over and over! I hated it when I had to 'live' in the hospital to get my chemo. I became depressed which then led to taking an anti-depressant and trying to find the 'right' one, again not fun. Also was nauseous when taking the any pain meds and ended up taking tylenol.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • brat
    • Experience with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemi...
    about 5 years ago
    brat's Avatar

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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