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    User: GregP_WN

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    User: kayebee

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    Meara posted an update

    Started my final semester of graduate school this week! With my MSW, one of my dreams is to help people with chronic diseases by working with them, their families and their doctors to make sure that they have open communication. I never had a resource like this when I was going through treatment, and it definitely would have helped me.

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    Meara shared an experience

    Celebration (I can have babies!): Three years ago I met the man who is now my husband. While we were dating, I talked to him about my diagnosis and told him that I couldn't ever have my own children. He asked me what the latest news was about this issue, and why, specifically, being on Gleevec posed such a risk to the fetus. I had never asked my doctor these questions, and with his support, I finally asked for more details.
    The news I received was unexpected and amazing. Several studies have been completed since I was first diagnosed, all showing that it is very very likely that I can stop taking my medicine, experience a healthy pregnancy and birth, and then resume taking my medicine after the baby is born!
    I want to take a moment to express my love and gratitude for my husband, who supported me through this part of my journey.

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    Meara shared an experience

    Loss (Fertility): This was the most difficult of my journey with cancer. A year after I started taking my medication, around the same time that my doctors determined that the medicine was working to keep me in remission, I was told that I would not be able to have children on this medication. Since I already knew that I would be taking Gleevec for the rest of my life, this felt like a death sentence to my womanhood. I was 19 years old and, though I wasn't planning on having kids any time soon, I had always thought that I would become a mother.
    I started reading adoption literature and began mentally preparing myself for becoming an adoptive parent, but I still felt like it wasn't fair to have my options taken away from me so abruptly. I didn't talk to anyone about my feelings, however. Instead, I took out my frustrations on my body. Since I no longer felt like a woman, I decided that I shouldn't look like one either. I started going on long runs every day, and my diet took a turn for a worse. I lost about 35 pounds during my junior year of college and I stopped getting my period. I didn't really know how to deal with my anguish at being told I couldn't have children, and I felt like I couldn't talk about it, since I was supposed to be happy and celebrating that I was finally in remission.

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    Meara shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): I take a medication called Gleevec. I have taken this drug every day since I was diagnosed... nearly nine years! I am fortunate because this medicine has very minimal side effects, just slight nausea that I have been able to avoid by taking the pills at night before I go to bed. The biggest impact on my daily life was the knowledge that, at best, I would have to do this for the rest of my life and, at worst, I would be among the 15% of CML patients who do not respond to Gleevec, and I would have to get a bone marrow transplant.

    1 Comment
    • Esudina's Avatar
      Esudina

      Wow ths is good news for me since my Md insisted that i should change from Gleevec to Tasigna wich I continue to take since the side effects are minimal for 5 years now. Now I am going to have to go to a Medical Center since she refuses to con,t treatment for me.

      about 3 years ago