This article is the first installment of a two-part story describing the details leading up to my diagnosis with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
All my life, I’ve been blessed with extraordinarily good health. At age 53 I didn’t even have a regular doctor. Other than having my tonsils out as a child, I’ve never spent any time in the hospital. It turns out that just because you feel good most of the time, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have regular check-ups. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?
This article is the second installment of a two-part story describing the details leading up to my diagnosis with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. If you haven’t read part one, you may want to have a look at it first. Introduction to CLL – Part 1
In part 1 I had been admitted to the hospital early on Saturday afternoon in an effort to get to the bottom of a very high white blood cell count. By Sunday a multitude of blood samples had been collected, additional CT scans had been performed, and x-rays of my chest had been taken. Continue reading →
Now that I have a proper diagnosis, the next step is chemotherapy as the treatment. This brings on a bit of anxiety for most. Let’s face it, everyone’s heard of chemo, and I would assume they associate it with something dark and scary used to ward off the ever so sinister disease of cancer.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site, I can’t say enough good about the medical team involved with my diagnosis and treatment. The quality of communication, and the level of professionalism I’ve experienced, is above and beyond what I had expected. The preparation for my chemotherapy sessions was no exception. Continue reading →
Today marks my first experience with chemotherapy, and as you would expect, I head into it with optimistic apprehension. My nurse practitioner, Nicole, did a superb job of presenting all the facts about the process, the medications, and all possible side effects in preparation for this day.
Today I venture into day two of my experience with chemotherapy. Day one was surprisingly uneventful, although it was a long day. If you haven’t read my previous article Chemo Session One-Day One, you may want to have a look at it first. It contains a lot of detail about the medications and side effects during my first day.
So far, the side effects from day one have been minimal compared to all the possibilities explained during my orientation session. I’ve experienced some minor fatigue, and some redness in my face and neck areas. The tiredness was mostly last evening, as I feel well rested and alert this morning. The redness is evidently due to the steroid pre-med, and normally lasts for a few days.
Today marks day three of my initial experience with chemotherapy. Day two was a short session, with no noticeable ill effects. The information for today is going to include a bit more about side effects than in the previous articles, as I’m beginning to notice some changes.
If you haven’t read my previous articles Chemo Session One-Day One or Chemo Session One-Day Two, you may want to read them first. They contain a lot of detail about the medications and how things went during my first and second day.
During my first chemotherapy session, I didn’t have a port installed yet, which required the medication be administered intravenously in my arm. A port is a much more efficient method, and doesn’t cause the problem of diminished vein quality over repetitive, long term use. So, what exactly is this so called port ? Continue reading →
Heading into my second three-day chemotherapy treatment, I’m feeling better than I have for a very long time. This re-enforces my thoughts that I’ve had this disease lingering inside of me for years now. Besides feeling better, visually I can already see a reduction in the swollen lymph-nodes in my neck. For this, I am thankful, and continue to have a very optimistic outlook going forward. Continue reading →