When I was diagnosed with CML, my doctor told me to stay off the internet. What he meant was don’t do any research on my own because if I did I might get upset at what I found. He was right. I did my research and I did find some information that made me concerned. That’s all in the past now. My doctor and I are on the same page and we’ve discussed everything there is to know about CML including what could happen if I skipped or stopped taking my meds, if the drug I’m on decides to quit working or if the cancer decides to take a different route. I have complete faith in my doctor and I trust him implicitly.
I have the Chronic form of this type of Leukemia. There are other, more advance forms that are more difficult to control. Acute Myeloid Leukemia is of course the most difficult form to get under control and often times means a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and sometimes even death. In fact, there is a survival rate of 65% of all AML patients. Which is not bad considering that just about 15 years ago the survival rate on only about 2%.
Age has a lot to do with being able to survive the processes of reaching remission. Having to go through a bone marrow transplant plus going through chemo is something that takes a lot out of the body. The information that I read today stated that people older than 60 years of age the chances of them reaching complete remission (CR) are not very good. For people who are diagnosed after the age 60 usually are given three to five years even if they decide to go through the bone marrow transplant and the chemo. Not very promising.
I brought this up because yesterday while on my way home from work I got a phone call from a friend of mine. Her ex husband’s mother who is 86 years of age was diagnosed yesterday with AML. They have done a bone marrow biopsy and the diagnosis is confirmed. Her MIL has decided not to receive any form of treatments. The doctors have given her two to three months to live.
When I was first diagnosed with CML I was told by many of my nurse friends that if someone had a choice as to which form of Leukemia to get, you would want the Chronic form. After hearing the news of my friends MIL diagnosis I feel blessed to have the Chronic form. I would rather not have cancer at all but I do and I have to deal with it the best way I know how.
“Life Goes On!”