Moving on

The last day I worked full-time was March 19, 2016. Two days later I was diagnosed with AML and this has been a rough ride fighting cancer, recovering and reclaiming my life. Even though I have been doing very well for the last year, it took me 8 months to find another job in my profession. I've had over 30 interviews: phone, Skype, in person. I felt like this was such an uphill climb and so unfair: I beat cancer, but still couldn't convince employers to hire me. Last week I received the most awaited phone call: I have a job offer! Next week I will be moving from Michigan to California to start my job. My sister lives in the same city in California, so I have my support system in place. My husband and my youngest son will follow in a year or two: we have a house to sell and my son still has 2 years of high school left. My husband is very supportive of my career. He was such a compassionate caregiver when I was at my lowest, and now he is my biggest cheerleader. I'm so grateful to his love and support. 

The day after tomorrow I'm going to Indianapolis to see my transplant doctor for the last time. I'm really hoping that he will take me off my last immunosupressant pill. 

The move is both exciting and scarry. I haven't lived alone for over 30 years. I haven't worked in my profession for two and a half years. But I see this as a door that God is opening for me. I will work through it and trust that he will be with me every step of the way. He has saved my life, and he will help me now to completely reclaim my life.

Jill, Nathan like this post.
Nathan threw a punch at your cancer.
Stacy, Olga sent you a hug.
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Congratulations on your new job. That’s great news. Your husband sounds like a prince. You have some challenges in front of you but there is no reason you can’t overcome. After all, you beat cancer!!!
Jane2016 likes this comment
Congrats on the new job. Way to stick with it! New adventures await. ;-)
Jane2016 likes this comment
Congratulations. You provide me with hope that things could go to normal and to think positively about enduring the treatment.
Jane2016 likes this comment
Smita,

It took me a while to realize that I was going to beat cancer, and then it took more time to see that I will live a normal life. It's not the same as it was before, but I believe that leukemia fight has made me a stronger and more focused person. In the past I was afraid to take risks, but now see challenges as something so minor compared to what I went through with cancer. I am not taking stupid risks, but I ask myself more often: "Why not? What keeps me from moving forward?" Fear of the unknown has greatly diminished for me since I had to face death and came back to live again.
Smita likes this comment
Hi Jane, I was diagnosed a month ago with AML and have undergone induction therapy, waiting counts to get back to acceptable level. Faced with decision on whether or not to get BMT. I have a rare chomosonal mutation. I am a stage IV survivor of adenocarcinoma of the duodenum. I found early on a blog that everyone participated in for duodenal cancer. When I look now it seems to be separate blogs dedicated to individuals. That is fine of course... but I'm looking for a blog that AML patients will go to in general for discussion. Do you know of one? Thank you, Mark Perkins 650-380-9640
Hi Mark,

Sorry to hear that you have AML. I had FLT3 ITD mutation, which is a very aggressive form of AML. My doctor told me that my only chance for a cure was to get a BMT, since chemo would stop working after a while. I am very grateful that I got it. I have been in complete remission since my transplant in Aug. of 2016. While I has fighting leukemia, I joined a number of online blogs that focused on AML and FLT3 ITD. I found a number of good groups on Facebook. You may want to look some up - they have thousands of patients and caretakers in these groups. You can find out a lot about symptoms, different treatments. Each time you ask a questions, dozens of people respond to you, which is great when you need information.

I hope your chemo treatment continues well. Let me know if you have questions about BMT. I had quite an experience with GVHD and other complications, but I am very glad I did it. I am finally back to normal. I didn't know that I would even recover. I'm very thankful to God, my doctors and my donor. I'm here today because of them.
Thank you Jane,

I will check facebook. I'm very happy that you have had success with your treatment. I may contact you further in the future.

God Bless,
Mark
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Vital Info

Posts

July 9, 2016

Cancer Info

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

March 20, 2016

Life is a gift from God. Even on my bad days I can look for things around me to be grateful for. I can't control my diagnosis, but I can control what I focus on.

Flu symptoms, shortness of breath, chest pain

Had two induction rounds and two consolidation rounds.

Had a stem cell transplant in August of 2016. Suffered kidney disease as the result of transplant or chemo right before the transplant. Kidney problem lasted for three weeks and then went away. In October I was diagnosed with graft vs. host disease (intestinal). I was on Methylprednisolone until the end of November. In December GVHD symptoms came back, so I was put back on steroids until the end of February of 2017. In March I developed shingles, and was treated with for that with antiviral IV meds in the hospital and then for two weeks at home. I still have some rash from shingles (June 2017), but it's not too bad.

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