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Lifestyle | KBeauty | Living with Multiple Sclerosis | Cancer Survivor | Beauty Blogger | My mind takes me to many places! Come along for the ride.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Two Years Since Cancer Diagnosis

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.

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