On January 13, 2014 my body was literally one giant bruise. I had become so weak and felt like something was horribly wrong. I went into the ER, and because of my body of bruises, I was asked if I had been abused by the nurse who admitted me but they quickly realized that was not the case. I was given platelets immediately. A doctor came in to talk to me and told me my platelets were at 10,000 when they should be in the 150k-400k range. She told me I was going to be transferred to Summerlin Hospital where an oncologist was waiting for me.
At the time, I had no idea what an oncologist was and what that meant for me. I arrived at Summerlin Hospital and met my oncologist and quickly learned exactly what an oncologist was. He told me that my blood test results showed I had leukemia. I was in shock, but I did not cry. I kept telling myself I'm just sick and these doctors will fix me. He then told me that I needed to start chemo the next day or I will most likely not make it, and then added that I probably won'tbe able to have children after treatment. That's when I started to cry. He contemplated freezing my eggs but after he talked to a specialist, he told me the process would take too long and I would be risking my life.
So we started chemo the next day.I had a bone marrow biopsy to tell us what kind of leukemia I had. I was officially diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL). I was admitted into ICU shortly after treatment started because I had water in my lungs. I had several MRIs and CT scans done all to reveal that I had bleeding in my brain and a bleeding in my right eye. The seven days I was on chemo were a blur and I hardly remember them because I was so tired that I slept almost the entire time. I finished my chemo and was stable enough to move back to theoncology ward.
There, I patiently sat around for weeks waiting for my numbers to come back up, so I can go home. When I finally was able to go home, my oncologist gave me one week to rest and then I had to be back for my second round of chemo. On my week off, I did another bone marrow biopsy and the results were amazing. I was in remission!!! The second round of chemo was a very horrible experience, even worse than the first round. I had an infection in my blood, c-diff disease, and heart failure. One day my heart rate went up to 200 and my oxygen level to 77, it was terrible.
I spenttime in ICU again until I could breathe on my own. The doctors put me on digoxin, which would make my heart stronger. They didn't know if or how long it would take to heal my heart. I had to switch to arsenic for my third consolidation round. During my third round, one month after heart failure they did another echo and told me my heart was back to normal! No more heart failure. I stayed in the hospital for a month while I received my treatment. I left the hospital for 2 weeks this time and came back for my last and final round of arsenic. I stayed in the hospital for 25 days and was discharged on June 30, 2014. I was finally done with treatment and I was inremission!!!
Through the course of my battle I was admitted to the hospital four times and stayed a month to a month and a half each time. During that entire time my family never left my side. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and my mom would take turns spending the night with me and my dad visited me every day. I had friends who came to visit me all the time and text me every day. I had an amazing support system. Almost exactly one year after I finished treatment I found out I was pregnant!!! Now, I am blessed with a beautiful baby girl. I thank God everyday for getting me through cancer. The worst part of my life taught me so much and made me appreciate life so much more. During my battle I decided that what I wanted most was to get my story out there, to inspire fighters, and raise awareness so we can raise money to find a cure for this awful disease. I am so happy to be working with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so I can help people like me.