Time for a serious post (don’t worry I’m doing some unboxing’s and unbagging in the next few days for everyone). For those that don’t know I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia on June 2nd 2013. I am doing well now on February 22nd of 2015 I hit my official one-year in remission mark. I am very lucky that my type of leukemia and the fact that I was considered low-risk (lots of factors here) I was able to do a combination of Arsenic Trioxide and ATRA chemotherapy route. Yes, that’s the regular old arsenic they use to kill rats. From June until the end of Feb I had chemotherapy 5 days a week with a 14-day break every month and a half.
|Bone Marrow Biopsy for Diagnosis. YAY|
I also had a reaction to the ATRA – fluid buildup, fevers, and caused me to go legally blind (I can see now but I’ve had to have monthly injections of medication – more chemo – into my eyes).
Fun shit they don’t tell you about cancer:
- My treatment made me lose a layer of skin. Literally just peeled off like sunburnt skin. You should warn people of this shit before it happens.
- You can taste the chemo and it will ooze out of your bodily orifices. The skin around my eyes would burn, as if I had been out all day and gotten sweat into my eye, but it was chemo.
- I expected to not be able to taste food but I didn’t realize food would become an enemy. Meat tasted and smelled like dog food but I needed my protein. The balance was a huge struggle.
- My body stopped making fingernails. I had divots in my fingernails where my body stopped making fingernails.
- My hair turned grey and then back to brown. I think this is related to the fingernail thing.
- You can’t kiss or have sex for 24 hours after chemo (my chemo at least). They told me this factoid month’s into my treatment. So, I poisoned the hell out of my then boyfriend – laugh.
- You have to stay away from you pets. Depending on how compromised your immune system is you may have to get rid of your animals, at least for a while.
- You will never EVER experience constipation like when you’re on chemo. Ever.
- Your recover will take much longer then you think. I had the idea that after chemo ended it would take awhile for it to leave my system but my guess was a month or two and I was wrong. It has been over a year and I am still in physical therapy dealing with the after effects of muscle denegation and weakness.
Cancer is also very surreal for me. I still don’t grasp that I had cancer or that I’m in remission. We don’t remember everything, our memories suck, and we can get cranky, moody, and angry without knowing it. Just ask my poor mother.
|Zombie Eye after an injection|
I am lucky that I haven’t had to have a bone marrow transplant (it could still happen). If you want to help (and everyone should) please go to http://bethematch.org/ to find out how to get yourself typed for bone marrow donation. Please give the potential gift of life to someone who needs a bone marrow transplant.