I’M HOME

I actually got to come home on Halloween afternoon and went with to take the kids trick or treating. I was so tired after that walk around the block. I think I need some conditioning to build up my endurance a bit. I was ONLY  in the hospital for 57 days (or 8 weeks and 1 day). I guess I could cut myself a little bit of slack.

Ava as a Pirate Princess

Ava as a Pirate Princess

Grady as a Pirate

Grady as a Pirate

Since I have been home, I have really been taking it easy. I went with for swimming lessons at Lifetime on Saturday morning and I have gone along to drop off the kids at school and pick them up. I have even taken some pretty good naps.

Grady & Mom Napping

(By the way, Grady WASN’T TIRED and he was WASN’T going to take a nap. Ahh…4 year olds…)

So, you are probably wondering how all of a sudden I got to come home! It was mid-morning on Thursday (Halloween) that my oncologist came into my hospital room and told me I could go trick or treating that evening. I was really in shock. We had gotten the results back from my bone marrow biopsy and they were pretty good. My blood count numbers were also high. The doctors’ goal, in general, is to not keep you in the hospital. Sometimes your house can be cleaner than the hospital. Imagine that.

I had an office visit with the oncologist on Monday where she did more bloodwork. She was still pleasantly surprised that my body is making its own platelets and my white blood count is over 3.0. (My WBC was down to 0.2 at one point during my first round of chemo.) I am still at a risk for catching something (having a somewhat depressed immune system) but my body is in a better position to fight off a cold now than it was before. I am still a germaphobe and use Purell on myself, Dave and the kids non-stop. Better to be safe than sorry.

The plan is to do more bloodwork tomorrow and I will have another bone marrow biopsy on Monday. The results of that biopsy will tell us if there are any leukemia cells left. This determines whether I will continue on with maintenance chemo or if I will have to get a second opinion at UCLA. These treatment plans are all up in the air until we see the results and we see how my body continues to react. I am lucky right now because I have had no other side effects other than being tired. (And who wouldn’t be after coming home to a 4 and 6 year old and 3 dogs?)

It does feel great to be home. I am getting back into the routine and starting to begin to help around the house (laundry, helping with homework, and I am thinking about doing some cleaning today.) It just feels nice to have a purpose instead of being stuck in a hospital bed all day and night long.

 

 

WHAT THE HECK IS AML?

You’ve read my trials and tribulations of ths sudden prognosis and you’re probably still wondering exactly what is wrong with me. I was in the same boat. I was scared to look at the internet and the doctors are great but its hard to get a full handle on what is really going on in my body. Doctors just had such a sense of urgency to get my chemotherapy treatment and anitibiotics as soon as possible. It was a complete whirlwind.

This is is what I researched: AML stands for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. There are there 3 other types of leukemia and this happens to be the type that I have. According to The Mayo Clinic, AML is a cancer of the blood and the bone marrow. There is a rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate within the blood marrow and interferes with the production of normal blood cells. Per the AML Alliance, AML is rare for patients under the age of 40, however it is the most common form of acute leukemia. There are more than 11,900 new cases of AML each year. Symptoms of AML include fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding and increased risk of infection (all of which I had.) These are all symptoms that I contributed to have the flu or picking up something from the kids. And the bruising? Well I just figured it was from all the moving and upacking of boxes.

I have found many great leukemia support sites that give lots of good information and support and I am sure I will come across many more as do more and more research.

-AMLAlliance.com

-Bethematch.org

-DailyStrength.org

-Caring4Cancer.com

These are just a few that I have found great information from actual patients and survivors.