Jun 22, 2010 - 10:53 pm
I am a 43 yr old female that was formally diagnosed with AML right before Mothers Day on May 7th, 2010. I was released from the hospital to spend the holiday with my family (husband, 9yr old daughter and parents)and then readmitted on May 12th to begin the induction phase with idarubacin and cyterabine (7+3) therapy. I came through with no side effects except for being very tired the last 2 days of treatment and mouth sores. I received 2 units of blood and 1 unit of platelets and was then released to go home to my Mom's on May 19th.
I remained at home for 5 days and then readmitted for 3 days at the end of May for a temp of 100.7 during a regular visit for bloodwork. An antibiotic IV was started and after extensive testing, nothing was found to be the cause of the elevated temp so I was released to return to my Mom's and continued the IV at home. Since that time I have returned to my own home with my husband and daughter and continue to have bloodwork done 2x per week to check counts. At this time I have not been through any of the consolidation therapy but have been told that based on my blood counts that I am in remission since there is nothing showing up in the blast. A biopsy done 14 days following treatment also showed no leukemia cells / a 2nd biopsy has not been done as of yet - my Dr is wanting my platelets to get up to 100,000 before doing the next one.
I was sent to Duke Medical center at my Drs insistence and met with a transplant Dr who presented me with 8yr old documentation to support his claim that a transplant is my only option for survival based on the type/strain of AML that I have. Further review of the documentation indicated that out of the 1,213 people involved in the study, only 7 people had the same strain of AML I have been diagnosed with but does not indicate ages, male or female, health of participants prior to being diagnosed or what type of treatment they were given and that only 1 of the 7 survived past the 5yr mark. When questioned about the validity of the study and how it relates to today and to me, the only thing the Dr said is that the treatment has not changed and that the info was collected over 20 yrs and that is the newest info they have since no other studies have been done. Needless to say I did not have a "warm and fuzzy feeling" when I finished speaking with the Dr and came home very overwhelmed wondering what to do and hoping I make the right choice for my family.
So now I feel like I am at a "crossroads" having to make a decision on how to proceed with treatment - continue with chemo for 3-4 consolidation treatments and hope to be in complete remission and pray for no relapses or go through with a transplant and take my chances in hope that I survive it and don't suffer any of the side effects that the Dr described and basically freaked me out as a result.
My faith is very strong and I have an excellent support system with family, friends and church family. I know GOD is the greatest healer and physician and nothing is more powerful than prayer. I have every intention of kicking this awful disease and getting my life back and be the involved and active Mom and wife I was prior to being diagnosed.