I have leukemia. Damn. Shocked I am, still. Just found out two days ago. It was like slow motion. I’m in the hospital bed sore as hell after having the bone marrow biopsy (which hurt like a son of a bitch by the way) and in comes who is now my very own nice oncologist to ask me tons of questions about my life and symptoms before getting to that day… And then he says, in a very straightforward manner…. Your marrow is very full of Acute Promyelocytic (APL) Leukemia. It was like his mouth was moving there for a second and nothing was coming out, even though I heard everything he was saying. I managed to stay calm, though everyone else in the room started crying. That’s OK. They love me and were/are afraid. The doc went on to say it was good case bad case. Very aggressive leukemia but if I handle it all well in the first month, meaning I don’t have some bad infection or other catastrophic event, it’s got a 95% cure rate. I am very vulnerable to bleeding and infection. He was great actually, my now oncologist. I have an oncologist. Shit.
So the adventure continues and will for a long time to come. There are rounds of oral and IV push chemo, more bone marrow biopsies (thrilling), more chemo, blood draws, meds of other kinds, blood transfusions (I’ve had three so far and really look forward to them… Is that some kind of Vampire wrong? LOL), hours of hanging out in the oncology ward being told I’m now “one of the family” here (by one of the nurses who, with the exception of one, have all been awesome by the way) because this first stay may be a month long, and today…. A picc line. Good thing, weird experience. Nothing like having a line put in your upper arm and then pushed all the way into you to stop in the artery just above your heart. It involved ultrasound and then a follow up x-ray to make sure it was in the right spot. My comment… It was like being a pipe that was getting cleaned out. I felt it, sort of, but it wasn’t really painful. The great thing about a picc line… It’s an in and out port. They can draw blood from it and administer all IV drugs into it. No more sticks. I look so purple right now after having three IV sites (and a fourth they couldn’t make work) either get too old to use or go bad. Not to mention the spots they’ve had to draw blood from every day. I basically am not clotting like I should be and so any trauma causes bruises more purple than anything I’ve ever seen. Spectacular color really. The Picc will keep me in long term business and from, hopefully, getting any more bruising going on. I need to know what color I was before all this started. Not purple or the yellow color the rest of my skin has become (unless I’ve been recently transfused… Yep, vampire talk again), but the nice rosy color I remember once possessing. Yeah, that color. I know I will see it again.
So time to post this rambler. I am going to take a stroll around the unit, wearing a mask and pulling along my little buddy (not Karen…. Though she’s coming with me of course… No, the IV saline I have running into my picc line right now.) I have to have the saline to make sure there’s enough liquid in me to help wash out the residual poison of the chemo they are giving me. IV chemo push number two tomorrow. Stay tuned…..