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Symptoms of Leukemia

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi,

I'm a two time NHL survivor over the past 9 years. I had an Autologous Stem cell transplant in Feb. 2009. Everything seems to be going well so far, however I've been diagnosed with Anemia and a very low Hemoglobin. The Oncologist told me the condition didn't appear to be symptomatic of any other condition and all the rest of the Blood chemistry seemed to be normal including WBCs which have suddenly increased after being borderline ever since the transplant, however I didn't know to ask about the types and counts of the WBCs and/or whether there were stem cells circulating in the blood.
I've been very tired suddenly, though there's apparently no indication of any infections, fevers, etc.
Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant patients are at an increased risk of developing Leukemia as a result of the High Dose Radiation and Chemo but, I have no idea of exactly what the various symptoms of Leukemia are, how patients felt, what caused them to seek Medical care, and what kinds of tests are in order, etc.
I hope I'm just being overly cautious, or hypochondriatic about it but, my experience has not been real good with the first diaqnosis for either of the two battles I've had with NHL. The first time a seriously painful and rapidly growing tumor was misdiagnosed as a hernia, the second time it was misdiagnosed as diverticulosis. I'm aware that Anemia and low Hemoglobin are likely side effects of the Transplant, but still, and why now after 7 months?
As I mentioned, I hope I'm wrong, but "Once Burned, Twice Cautious" and I am trying to put together a list of questions for the Oncologist when I see him on the 23rd. I just never considered the possibility of acquiring Leukemia as a side effect of the Transplant procedure until now because I've been busy struggling with the NHL.
DennisR

tf168wife
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2009

well,Dennis, first congratulations on being a NHL survivor - twice! I am still fairly new to the leukemia thing - diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia last November, so I probably will not be much help. But I did want to respond and let you know that somebody read your post!
My leukemia was found during routine blood tests for a gall bladder issue, so I really didn't have any 'leukemia' symptoms. The first flag was a high WBC, the second was somebody in the lab (God bless them) told the doctor they didn't look like normal white blood cells, so they were sent off for a flow cymetry. Based on that, came the diagnosis of CLL. Then I went to an oncologist who confirmed, and then a hematologist at Mayo, who confirmed and then did further testing for prognostic markers. I still probably would not know I have leukemia if I had not had a gall bladder attack!
Now, I think the signs and symptoms of leukemia are probably pretty similar to lymphoma - fatigue, weight loss, night sweats, swollen lymphnodes....... so it may be hard to tell in your case what is what.
Sorry I couldn't be of any help, but let us know how you come out at your appt.

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hey tf,
I saw the Oncologist and got all the facts regarding my low low RBCs, apparently when he mentioned that my WBCs were High, he meant High for me compared to what they've been in the recent past and they're actually just in the normal range, right where they should be.
The low Hemoglobin and Anemia is a cause for concern, but not indicative of anything other than my contrary Bone Marrow refusing to produce the darn things because of the Full Body Rads and Chemo, and not an unanticipated issue following a BMT. I guess, hopefully, I can now get back on track mentally and enjoy my recovery.
Thank you very much for caring and taking the time to post. I wish you well.
DennisR

tf168wife
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2009

Dennis,
That is great! well, you know what I mean! :)
So, it is nothing more than your body slowly building the blood back up from your transplant? Wow - takes a long time, huh?
So what are they doing for the anemia?
Thanks for letting me know how it came out. God bless!
tf

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