Acute Myeloid Leukemia – Detection / Diagnosis
My acute myeloid leukemia patient story begins in 2006. I had started feeling mild pain in my lower back. Eventually, it started developing into acute pain. Nobody at home could fathom what it was. So, we went to a local doctor who prescribed some medication.
At first, everyone thought it to be tetanus. The pain was so severe that I could not move. So, I got admitted to the hospital. Primarily, my diagnosis was centered at tetanus. So, a lot of medication and treatment was related to tetanus. However, there were no signs of improvement and so, one of the doctors suggested other tests.
It was then, through the bone marrow test, that we figured it to be acute myeloid leukemia.
Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patient
After coming to terms with that fact, began my treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. My condition was not good, as I was hospitalized for three weeks and the treatment did not work much. No body movement was there, so my body had become really weak, and I remained very less conscious about what was happening around me.
An oncologist informed us that if we did not do chemotherapy at that point, recovery would be difficult. Simultaneously, other oncologists said that my body was too weak to take any chemotherapy. Sustenance would be difficult.
Then we moved to a different hospital, but the doctor was the same; we just moved to another hospital to take better treatment. And finally, after a little bit of deliberation that whether we should go for chemo or not, my family decided to go ahead with chemo.
We started the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia patient. All this while, I was completely unconscious. I did not know what was happening with me, I just knew that some treatment was going on. I was in a different world altogether, so had no idea of anything. I was not able to recognize the universe around me.
With the first chemotherapy session, I gained little bit of consciousness after a few days. Apart from chemotherapy, other medications were helping me normally. For instance, the pain was subsiding gradually. However, as we know the problem of chemotherapy is that the cancerous cells take time to die.
I was hospitalized for almost two months. Because I was bedridden, my movements were very restricted. There were lots of physiotherapy sessions, but all this while I was still unaware of what happened to me. As I was young, I did not know the meaning of the technical word. In fact, if I would have come across the term, I would have known that leukemia is a kind of blood cancer.
When I got discharged, and I returned home, for me, it was as good as taking baby steps because my legs and body had become so weak that I could not move. My family and the people around me had decorated the house for me because I was coming home after a gap of almost two months. So, returning home was a great relief for all of us.
After that, we waited for two weeks, and I was still unaware of what was happening to me. I thought that now that I am back home, I would be okay over a period of time. However, one fine day after two weeks, my parents took me back to the doctor who had asked me if I was facing any issue, and if I was okay. I replied that everything was feeling better than before. I said that I was feeling good and healthy.
I was hoping that the doctor would prescribe some more medications and would say that I would be okay soon. But, that was when he said, “Okay, great! We can get you admitted for the next steps.”
That broke me down totally, wondering why I had to be admitted again. I had no idea what was chemotherapy. I did not know I was going through chemo at that time, but he said you have to take it.
When we were leaving for home, my parents were packing bags, and I thought that when we are going to this doctor, he would prescribe some medicines, and then my family had planned a surprise vacation for me! We would be going on a short vacation from there in a family car.
But of course, it was not to be like that. They had known it was going to be an admission after that, but they just did not want to tell me, and they did not even know I thought that it’s a vacation, so they never raised any hope, but I started thinking.
Unfortunately, we had to go to the hospital again, and I stayed brave because I thought it was difficult for me. But now I think that probably it was more difficult for the people around me. Also until that time, I had no idea of what this acute myeloid leukemia patient treatment were costing.
I got admitted again for the second round of chemo; it went pretty well. I was in a bad state of mind, thinking what if it takes as long as before and again for two months I had to be admitted. However, in around 23-24 days the cycle was done, and I was discharged.
We returned home, and I was feeling weak because I was in the hospital for 24 days; no movement with heavy medication. In this cycle, I lost all my hair, and very little eyebrows were left. I would look at myself in the mirror, and sensed that I was not the same as before. My family would hide all the mirrors at home. But while brushing I got to see myself. Initially, I felt bad. Very slowly, I got used to myself in that way.
After the two cycles, I was not sure how my future looked. That’s when my parents told me that this acute myeloid leukemia patient treatment was going to take some time. So I was asked to be patient.
My parents gave me good acute myeloid leukemia supportive care. They explained to me in simple ways that there are certain cells in my body, and sometimes there are bad cells that get generated. These bad cells reduce power of immunity. So I had to take treatment for my immunity to get stronger. To get healthy, I would have to follow the regime and need to ensure that my medications were taken on time.
As part of my acute myeloid leukemia supportive care, I was informed that my disease was treatable; I had nothing to worry. They prepared me that it was going to be another two more cycles, so at that time, I was aware that when we go for a check-up, I might have to get admitted again.
When we went for the check, the doctor delivered a good news that I was improving, so I could get admitted for the third cycle. This time because I had known how everything was going to happen, I was more prepared mentally.
The third cycle took lesser time than the second. It ended within 18 days. It was all good, but while I was in the third cycle, I figured out what acute myeloid leukemia was. In the hospital, I would get daily newspaper, which I would read daily. One day, there was a large article posted on Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I stumbled upon it, and that was when I got to know that my problem was actually a form of blood cancer. Surprisingly, I did not even know I was having acute myeloid leukemia all this while.
My family was trying hard to keep the grim news away from me that I was having cancer. So finally, I decided that even though I knew this, I was not going to display to my family that I know about it. I am going to put up a brave face. At that point, it actually enlightened me that my family was taking so much stress and pain to provide me acute myeloid leukemia supportive care.
My sister had quit her job just to take care of me full time because just parents’ acute myeloid leukemia supportive care was apparently not sufficient. In acute myeloid leukemia patient stories, you need a lot of support system. I had cousins and family members, who would at that time, donate their blood and platelets repeatedly.
Also in a short time span, there were so many people whom I did not even know, who came for donating blood and platelets. Even the blood transfusion that used to happen, I still do not know how many people’s blood have gone in my body that have kept me alive till today.
All those realizations started coming to me at that point, and I felt so grateful to people around me that I decided to put up a brave fight on this. I would come out of this stronger, and I’m going to be on a stage where I can thank everyone enough. I am proud that I am able to tell my inspirational stories of blood cancer.
After we returned home I started doing more from my side; I started being more cheerful because before that I would always complain about my struggle and troublesome situation.
I used to think what did I do wrong, I never abused anyone, never uttered a bad word, then why all this happening to me.
Now, I turned the tables on acute myeloid leukemia / blood cancer. I gathered my strength to win through it. So with that, I went ahead and started being more cooperative than I was before.
Finally, the fourth chemotherapy session came, which took slightly longer. However, it was still under one month. And while all of this was happening, there was a train blast in Mumbai, and I saw all those videos while I was in the hospital. Every time there was this central IV line that has been drawn to my neck, I would try and imagine the pain that people have gone through in the terrorist blast, and I felt, this pain is nothing compared to what they were going through. Even they were not at fault for their situation.
So, why should I be worried? They were just few needles going through my neck. So, I told that it was okay, and I could embrace the pain more easily as compared to before.
The fourth cycle was over, and I returned home and was very happy to know that all my four cycles of acute myeloid leukemia treatment were completed. It took almost 7-8 months of hospitalization.
Inspirational Stories of Blood Cancer: “I started college again.”
In the first few months, I had to go for a doctor visit. So, I would be scared that they do not admit me in the hospital again because by that time I had started resuming my college lectures.
When I went back to college, people were happy. I had thought that it might be tough for everyone to look at me, but they were all such amazing human beings. They ensured that I got special care; if I had any issue learning something or doing any projects, they went out of the way to help me, and I am grateful to them because that helped me to cope up very quickly.
In the next few months, doctor visits reduced, and my hair started to regrow; my body was looking in good shape, and everything was looking fine. Some of the healthy days after recovery were due to a fit regime that I followed. I did yoga, exercising, eating healthy food, reading some self-help books, and doing some spiritual things like meditation to keep me calm because it’s the combination of mind, body, and soul.
Finally, I completed my graduation and was keen on pursuing my MBA. So, after I did my graduation, I put in a lot of efforts to study hard for the entrance exam. I did not give up and made a list of 10 colleges of India that I wanted to graduate from. I could not crake CAT in the first attempt, but I did not stop preparing because I knew other exams were coming on.
I appeared for many exams, and I ended up doing the best. I was at all-India rank 3 for CEP. My consistent hard work had paid off. Following that, I got admission in a college of my choice.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patient Stories – “I did not want sympathy in the name of cancer.”
I did not want to use cancer as a reason at any place to seek a better sympathetic move. It is true that I want my story to be one of the inspirational stories of blood cancer, but not at the cost of sympathy. Be it a job application or cracking an interview, I had ensured that I would not use my acute myeloid leukemia patient stories for my benefit.
I had known that if I would bring up this topic, people would offer extra help, which I never wanted to take. I had told myself that whatever I do, I shall do on my merit. Whatever the process has taught me, it will be with me, but I am not going to take sympathy at the name of cancer.
Despite so much acute myeloid leukemia supportive care, struggles were unending
My struggles were not ending. Yes, there were things that I did not want people around me to know because I did not want sympathy. However, there were things that I would do, which people would not understand. They would go out and eat, and I would say I do not eat outside stuff.
Nobody realizes why I do not eat outside because there were chances that I might catch an infection. So it was tough to convince all my friends that I was not coming out for lunch or dinner, even if I went out with them. I would end up taking a soup which is assured healthy.
I was staying at the hostel, but my family would send me tiffin every day so that I do not eat outside food, but I eat home-cooked meals daily both the times, in the morning and in the evening. My family members were ensuring acute myeloid leukemia supportive care, and it was heart-wrenching. However, it is true that I could not have survived without their support. Truly, love heals cancer.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia Supportive Care – “I had an army of people with me.”
It was only recently that I realized that I should not let this acute myeloid leukemia patient story be within myself. I can spread awareness and instil motivation; if there is any inspiration that I can give to people, it will be a worthy thing to do, mainly because of the people who are involved in this.
There were so many people I did not know, or I haven’t even met, who prayed for me when I was not well. My father used to tell me stories that the churches of the particular area prayed exclusively for me at that specific day; there was a mosque that rang prayers for me. I am a Hindu, so there were many temples where either my parents or my relatives worshipped, conducted holy rituals and offered prayed for me to recover from acute myeloid leukemia.
All of that was done whole heatedly, and it came from all the sides. I think it is because of all the people around me that I survived blood cancer. I do not think that there could be any other way I could have won over my blood cancer problem.
I owe my life to all of them. Also, there are so many whom I have not even met yet. If I ever get a chance, the first thing I would do is to hug them all and express my gratitude for the life that I have. It also means that for anything that I have been doing, or will be doing in the future, they own a part of the greater good that want to do for this society.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patient Stories – Life after Cancer
My life after acute myeloid leukemia has been good.
- I passed with reasonably good distinctions
- Got a placement job
- I did well in extracurricular activities,
I was part of a placement which was demanding time and efforts, but I never stopped myself from doing anything that I would have done if I was not an acute myeloid leukemia patient. I just ensured I had all the precautions.
Finally, after recovering from cancer, my work job was going on. I had my share of ups and downs. Everything went well, and the learnings I had from my treatment has always stood with me.
I am now married to a lovely lady. I am happy, healthy, and doing well. It has been four years since I did not need to go for a medical check-up because my doctor has declared that I do not need anymore visits. And this is my success story. The day my doctor declared this good news is one of the happiest days of my life.
My acute myeloid leukemia patient story has been a long journey; a long battle. However, even though I fought a bit of it, there were lots of people who fought all together, and that’s the reason I am here now.
Inspirational Stories of Blood Cancer – Parting Message
“Stay positive, and never give up.”
Acute myeloid leukemia is a disease that you can overcome. You just have to believe that you have the strength to fight it, and you will be able to. Believe in yourself; belief is something that keeps you going.
Frankly, for me, the belief I had was not that whether I can do it or not, but the fact that I wanted to do it because so many people had invested so much of efforts for me in the first two cycles.
Because my family and people around me kept a very positive environment. I was lucky to survive the toughest of the toughest times. Things became okay when I knew that I have to fight for them.
Having the right attitude and believing that “yes, you will be able to come out of this no matter what” keeps you going.