redheadnoodle6 karma2013-08-11 15:19:21 UTC
I was playing catch with my then 12 year old son in the front yard of our home and I could hardly throw the baseball 10 feet. He came up and asked if felt ok cause I didn't look good....Went nside and my wife sid I was very pale and she called a doctor friend who happened to be the head of the local ER. He said it sounded like I may be anemic. The next moring I went to the ER where he had "paved" the way and withing 2 hours I had two Mayo Clinics heads of Hemotology/Onclogy standing in front of me with two more nures. I was informed that they were very confident I had Leukemia and that my white blood count was so elevated that if I had waited anoth 24 hours I would have been dead...a very rude awakening to hear that. Over the next 3 hours I had a port surgically placed in my chest and was checked in to room on the cancer floor and thus began a 12 week long chemo treatment. During this time a few of my important glands and functions began to shut down (adrenal and thyroid) which complicated the process and extended my stay..not to mention some very interesting pain that I would not wish on my worst enemy. My wife and children arrived about 5 hours after the first ER visit and of course were horrified to see and hear. But today 8 years later, I am alive and can share what I have learned...mainly this desease as with most thrives on stress...emotional, physical and mental. I have effectively reduced that stress, to the cost of my marriage and income, but you cnt buy your way to everlasting/unconditional love or health for life...Life goes on... :)
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redheadnoodle6 karma2013-08-11 13:45:40 UTC
This has changed my life. Looking forward, I am blessed to have ajob that allows me to dictate my hours and work from home allowing ne to rest when necessary and work. I believe a good sense of humor, positive outlook on life, faith and the realization that death is inevitable and no matter how much money you have it won't stop it. Acceptance has been amazkng. It has allowed me to destress my life to a major degree and I stop and. Smell the roses when I see them....
redheadnoodle6 karma2013-08-11 14:23:30 UTC
First I am sorry for your loss. Cancer is a terrible disease. To answer your question, I understand that maybe 15 years ago the bone marrow transplant process was very uncomfortable and painful, but with today's technology, my two were as simple as a blood transfusion. The pain (sometime excruciating comes about 10 days after the transfusion and can be very different in every patient. I felt sometimes like I could feel my skin grow and contract, my bones hurt from the inside and for the majority of the time in the hospital (11 weeks for me) I felt as if I had been run over by a truck and then re-run over...All I wanted to do was lay in bed, but thanks to the nurses at Shands Hospital at The University of FL, I got out bed and moved around, which in my opinion is one of the key recovery accelerators. After 14 months my pain is still there, but in different parts of my body, which considering the alternative is OK. My sense of humor, faith and my two children have kept me positive and l to looking forward to life.
redheadnoodle5 karma2013-08-11 15:45:51 UTC
I have AML (Acute Myogenic Leukemia) and have had two types of Bone Marrow Transplants. The first was through a family member who was my donor (related donor) and the second is called a "MUDD" which stands for non related donor, Fortunately the Bone Marrow CIBMTR (Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research www.cibmtr.org ) and Shands Hospital at The University of Florida were able to find a stronger match than my brother who was a near perfect match 9/10. Yes I do have currently and will probably always have some type of GVHD...Currently my mouth is affected as well as my forearms with red blotches...not real bad but noticeable. GVHD as you have probably been told can be very mild or very dangerous...It is so important to have a team of Doctors you can TRUST and to follow their advice to the fullest every step of the way. Fortunately in the last 6 years there have been some amazing new anti-rejection medications for made available and I owe my recovery to them and of course my faith... I know many reddit readers may not agree with that but hey I believe what I believe and try and stay focused on my life. In my humble opinion the Oncology/Hematology or Bone Marrow Doctors and Nurses have to be the most compassionate and intelligent in their profession. Please pass along to your father my best wishes for a successful transplant and FULL recovery.
redheadnoodle5 karma2013-08-11 16:20:29 UTC
I live with the occurrence everyday. I was in remission for 6 years after my first transplant and for technicalities and even by my Doctors opinion I was out of the woods...But I guess there were other plans higher up. Bone Marrow biopsy's (I have had 6) are uncomfortable. Depending on your size and metabolism, I would ask the Doctor for something to help you relax...I was give Ativan...(I am not a Doctor nor do profess to know anything about medication, but wow what a great relaxer for the stressful feeling that I have when I have biopsy done.. My hospital used to do it manually where the PA would literally hand drill a needle into your hip and extract the marrow...a very strange pressure and pulling feeling occurs...but in the last year they have used a power drill that takes half the time and quite frankly I didn't feel a thing...Technology is amazing...make sure you ask if they have the power assist drill for extraction, sorry I don't know the medical or technical term for the device but the "power drill" will probably bring a smile to their face and I think they will know what you mean. Good Luck
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