Mark O. on September 22, 2015
I was Diagnosed with:
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
Type and Description of Treatments:
Gleevec 800mg/day. 4 mg Ondansetron for nausea.
How do you feel today?
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
I feel trapped, tied to my job and insurance. I want to go back to school for a career change, but can't afford it. I find it difficult to be in relationships because I'm worried that my partner won't understand what I'm going through; I barely understand the emotional implications of this myself.
What is going well for you right now?
I have a full time job, with benefits. I play drum set in a band. I'm dating.
What is not going well for you right now?
I can't figure out a way to afford to go to school.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Paying for medication.
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
My friends and family.
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
I really want to go to school for a career change, but living a life dependent on Gleevec seems to have made that impossible.
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
I work M-F, 9-5. I work in an office setting.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
I have to take a lot of sick days for regular check-ups.
What has helped you continue to work the most?
My will to not die.
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Eat well, get plenty of rest, and have friends with whom you can talk about your struggles.
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
A terribly painful treatment for facial flushing, which helped somewhat. Now, I started taking fish oil with high levels of DPA and EPA, which has calmed my facial flushing, which seem to be the result of Gleevec (there was a period of 5 days when I couldn't access my Rx, and my facial flushing subsided).
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
If you find a partner willing to love you and care for you, don't take them for granted, and never leave them.