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Thread: Hi, I'm New Here

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    5

    Hi, I'm New Here

    Found this forum after yet another sleepless night of dark thoughts and desperation, and the need for hope and support.

    My sister was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in September 2012, at age 53. Her prognosis wasn't particularly good since AML is an extremely aggressive form of Leukemia. She underwent induction chemotherapy, which achieved remission, followed by a stem cell transplant (SCT). I thank God that my mother had 4 children as I knew the chances of being a match were only 25%. It turned out I was her perfect match and was able to donate my stem cells to her.

    Over the following three months, her counts began to rise, indicating engraftment, which was the goal. Her bone marrow bioposy at 90 days post SCT showed 99% engraftment of my stem cells, which was great.

    She did extremely well in the following months and we were finally beginning to breathe a sigh of relief when suddenly three weeks ago she started feeling ill and weak. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed that the AML is back.

    She is back in the hospital, undergoing chemo again. Remission is more difficult to achieve at relapse. The doctor gave her a 20 - 30% survival rate with treatment (because she insisted on knowing). This round of chemo will be completed next week, at which time another bone marrow biopsy will be performed to determine if remission was achieved.

    In December, she'll be re-admitted to the hospital for another intensive round of chemo to eradicate her immune system in preparation for a second SCT, and I will again be the donor.

    This road is a long and difficult one and she is scared, as am I and my family. She is in a very dark place emotionally because she knows what is ahead and she is focused on the prognosis she has been given. We can't get her out of her current emotional state and I can't really blame her. It's tearing my heart out to see her this way and to know what she has to endure again.

    I've done my research and I know the the grim prospects, but I need to be positive for her, and that's why I'm here. I need to share with people who have been through this and can offer some hope and support. And I hope I can offer some in return.

    I'm scared for my sister and can't bear the thought of losing her. I pray that my stem cells will work long-term this time, as I don't think there is much more they can do if this doesn't work.

    Prayers and words of encouragement would be appreciated.

    God bless you all.
    Last edited by amc422; 11-08-2013 at 10:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Hello AMC,

    Welcome to our forum. My heart goes out to your sister, you, and your family. We lost my dad to pancreatic cancer last year, another cancer that holds some grim statistics, so I do know what you are going through. I wish her the very best with the use of your stem cells and I also hope that this works long-term for her.

    I am going to move this post into the Leukemia Forum. I think that people there will be able to offer support as well as benefit from the knowledge and support that you can provide. Best wishes.

    Debbie
    March 21, 2011 - Dad diagnosed. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma on head of pancreas.
    April 2011 - Gemcitabine and radiation for a total of 12 weeks.
    October 14, 2011 - Successful Whipple procedure. Cancer free! Best 5 months of my life!!!
    March 2, 2012 - CT scan and discovery of possible mets to both lungs.
    March 23, 2012 - Biopsy confirmed recurrence.
    May 2, 2012 - Folfiri regimen started. Stopped after 2 treatments due to infection.
    June 2, 2012 - Switched to Xeloda
    Sept. 21, 2012 - No more chemo...treatment not working anymore. Now we wait and pray.
    October 6, 2012 - My dad is now at peace in Heaven, watching over us until we meet again.

    ♥ Forever in my heart! Miss you every day more than words can say! ♥

  3. #3
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    5
    Debbie,

    Thank you for your kind words and wishes.

    I am so sorry about your father. I hope his passing was peaceful for him and that you have found healing and discernment.

    Anna

  4. #4
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    15
    Hello,

    I can only offer encouragement. My heart is breaking for you and your family, and especially your sister. I was recently diagnosed and I can remember very clearly the all encompassing dark cloud that seemed to weigh everything down from my body, energy, thoughts and emotions. Every breath felt like doom (one less then I had in a preset number). I wish I could tell you what changed and give you some directions....but I don't really know other then....I decided to control what I could (diet and the way I thought). And knowing my family has my back come what may.....so helpful. It sounds like she has a great support system in you and your family. I hope you are able to find ways for "you" to stay healthy and strong as well. I can tell you right now, my worse days are the ones when I can see the shadows on my families face whether from emotional distress or just being tired. I get a lot my strength from them. Stay healthy for you and your sister.

 

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