Jun 15, 2013 - 8:11 pm
I was diagnosed in March 2005, at the age of 21 with AML M5. I was 86% cancer in my bone marrow and was given a 10% chance to live. After a few rounds of chemo and a BMT, I was "healthy" again and went back to work in 2006. I worked for a few years as I regained my strength and all that. I finally went back to school (college) and graduated with an AA. I also became an EMT and volunteered with my local fire department. I was living the life of a 20 something and had no worries. I wasn't scared that the cancer would come back at all, in fact it didn't really cross my mind except when people would ask me. In March 2012, just about 7 years to the day, I relapsed. I think my oncologist was more upset than I was. I accepted the diagnosis and figured, hey I've done this before, it'll be just like last time. I didn't have much sickness from chemo or anything, I think I was so sick to begin with that the chemo was actually making me better. Anyway, the chemo from this relapse made me so sick and then in May 2012 I had 3 strokes. So much for thinking things would be "easy" like last time. With all these obstacles I was dealing with, I still kept up the fight. I am now a year past my relapse and still having a lot of outpatient treatment. I have had two DLI's (donor lymphocyte infusions) that didn't seem to work too well, I was also put on interferon injections that didn't work either. I am now on Vidaza, 7 days on 28 off, and this just started on May 1, 2013. I am getting through this in the best way I can, with so many negative side effects from all my meds, it makes things a little difficult. I haven't even been able to talk to anyone around my age, 20s-30s that has been though this also. I am hoping that I can have a little support from some fellow fighters/survivors. My friends and family are great and help me out a lot when needed, but it's not the same and they just don't understand like a fellow patient does.