Symptoms & Diagnosis
My name is Amit Shenoy. I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). I was really scared – but working with healthcare professionals to get the right diagnosis and treatment helped me get back on track. They made sure to run a bunch of tests—biopsies and scans—and eventually I was able to beat this thing. For me, the symptoms were paleness, breathlessness, and sweating. The diagnosis process is different for everyone, but there are important things you need to know. Bone marrow biopsies and other tests can provide answers as to what’s going on with your body. After all that testing, I found that my symptoms ranged from paleness to breathlessness to frequent infections. In the end, though, I won out over this cancer!
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer that affects myeloid stem cells in the bone marrow, leaving you vulnerable to infections. This disease usually progresses quickly, leading to symptoms like fever, fatigue or weakness, poor appetite and unintentional weight loss, shortness of breath, frequent infections, bruising easily and skin changes. Some people develop signs of infection prior to any other symptoms, such as pneumonia or bacterial infection of the blood stream.
Side Effects & Challenges
When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, I was in remission for three years and my life has completely changed. When I was diagnosed, it was one of the toughest times of my life. I was battling different symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss and infections. One of the other side effects include bleeding inside the skull which can be dangerous sometimes. Although I survived everything in the end through persistent healthcare professional’s care and quality treatment.
I have learned many lessons in life during these years. The most important lesson which I have learned is that you must never lose hope. Even if your doctors are unable to find any treatment, you must try to look for options yourself. Always remember that there is more than what meets the eye. The initial symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, and/or fever. As the cancer progresses, however, you might begin to experience more serious side effects. For example, some of the leukemia cells can migrate to your brain or spinal cord, causing bleeding inside the skull. This is not only incredibly painful—it can be fatal.
Another side effect that occurs as the cancer spreads to other parts of your body (such as your skin) is called petechiae. In this case, you might notice clusters of tiny red dots on your arms or legs. These are pinpoint-sized hemorrhages that occur when the blood vessels break open under your skin. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to tell your doctor right away so they can provide care!
Support System & Caregiver
I was quite lucky enough. The complete treatment phase worked out well with the help of my family support. They were all caring and supportive. This really has helped me build the best in me again. If you are a cancer patient, then it is time for you to think about your support system. What will you do when you are going through a phase where you can’t even stand on your feet? Who will help you get through it? Who will be there for you? Most importantly, who will tell you everything will be okay?
Well, this is the time when your support system and caregiver become your lifeline. All of your friends and family come forward to help. They make sure that you are under their care and they provide you with the best treatment possible. You don’t have to worry about anything because they are there to help you. It is not easy to fight cancer alone, but with the right support system by your side, things can get easier than ever before. They will provide everything possible so that you get better soon enough!
Post Cancer & Future Goal
When I was diagnosed with cancer, it all happened so fast. One second, I was living a normal life, and the next thing I know, doctors were announcing that my test results were positive. I have always been the person who thrives with purpose. No matter how hard I battled with the cancer, it helped me build great energies, and that’s how I started to know myself a lot like never before. So, when I finished my treatment and finally got to start living my life again, I knew exactly what I wanted from it.
First of all, I am now more focused on the present, rather than having any future perspectives to my goals. And, in any way, if I can help other patients having similar situations, it would be great since it can bring a lot of fulfillment to me and the way I take on things at the same time. Moreover, I am going to spend each moment qualitatively with my family and friends.
Some Lessons That I Learned
In the first few days of that treatment, I got pneumonia and ended up going on a ventilator because I couldn’t breathe. Then they had to put me in an induced system because my body was shutting down and I was having seizures. Then at the end of those three weeks, they decided to do a bone marrow transplant and try one more round of chemo. I learned that I really don’t have to use a lot of words. I can get away with using only a few words if they are the right ones and they convey the right meaning.
The thing about cancer is that at the end of the day it’s just another part of your body. It’s not some villain, it’s just cells, and they can be treated. You’ll get through the treatment process, you’ll feel better, and you’ll go on with your life. If anything, cancer will make you stronger because it will show you how strong you already are. Surviving cancer wasn’t easy, especially with my family by my side. But I think I was able to make the best of it, and things turned out just fine in the end.
I am an Acute Myeloid Leukemia survivor, and here it goes. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to go for a bunch of chemo and radiation. I hated everything about the process. Especially having to ask for help from my family. The only thing that made it better was knowing that it was going to make me better. That someday this would all be over and I could go back to normal life again.
But as time went on, I realized that my life might never be normal again. There would always be cancer in one way or another in my life and the lives of my family members. The treatment might have worked, but the disease will always be there, lurking in the shadows until one day it comes back.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to decide how to feel about this whole thing, and I think I’ve finally figured out what I was missing all along: acceptance. When you accept something, you embrace it fully and without reservation. You don’t fight against it or try to change it; you just let it be as it is and continue on with your life as best you can. This is what has helped me get through this battle. Now, I am cancer free finally.