May 31, 2003 - 3:20 am
Hello Brethren Blood Cancer People,
My name is Michael, and I am a survivor of ALL - acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I was diagnosed at 21 yrs. I am now 29 years old and have been in remission for almost 7 years. In fact, this June 6th will be my 8th anniversary of my diagnosis (this is one anniversary that is hard to forget!!). Anyhoo, I wanted to share a few tips that I learned along the way. Hopefully they will help you, and if you already know them, please pass them on. Oh, by the way, I have a leukemia and lymphoma web site that I designed during my remission. There is information that may help you.
1) A Dr. told me that leukemia is becoming a more treatable and depending on what type, a curable cancer today.
2)Be part of your treatment. Ask questions, and be aggressive. Don't be afraid to get second and third opinions.
3) Write down the names and phone numbers of your doctors, pharmacists, medicines, and dosages. Keep a list with you or close to the phone.
4) Do not be afraid to have pain management. Educate yourself about the myths of addiction as a result of pain medicines used for real cancer pain.
5) Before, during, and shortly after radiation, apply a good Aloe lotion to the areas to be radiated. This process has been proven to greatly minimize the harsh burning side effects of radiation therapy.
6) Ask your Dr. about EMLA anesthetic cream as a preparation before having your subdermal port punctured. Applied one hour before the initial puncture, EMLA greatly minimizes pain and discomfort.
7) If it is possible for you to taste the Heparin flush, and it creates nausea, chewing on gum, or eating a fruit flavored hard candy will hide the heparin taste.
8) If swallowing tablets is a problem, ask your caregiver to crush the tablet into a powder and mix into a milkshake, Ensure, or similar drink. Sometimes mixing a crushed tablet in applesauce does NOT help.
This isnt much, but I hope it helps. Good luck and God Bless.