hey all! so i guess i'm going to try this blog thing for anyone who's interested in the happenings at strong memorial hospital in rochester room 63428.
as most people at IHS know, i was diagnosed with leukemia on thursday, may 15th. i had been bruising really easily for about a week and getting light headaches (which had never happened before, much less 4-5 times in one week), and my feet were swelling up. i called my aunt, laurie, who is a doctor in MA and asked her about these symptoms. she promptly ordered blood tests at cayuga medical and the results showed an extremely high white blood cell count and a very low platelet count (causing bruising). the next morning, i saw my physician and was admitted as a patient at cayuga medical. while i was there, they must have poked me with needles a trillion times, not to mention conducted a bone marrow biopsy (the most painful ten minutes of my life. this procedure involves drilling into my bone and pumping out a sample of bone marrow. even on morphine and numbing meds on both the skin and the surface of the bone, it was excruciating. i don't think i have ever screamed so loud in my life), and ran multiple tests through the night. they checked in every few hours overnight to check my vitals, so i didn't get much sleep.
that day, i was visited by a few friends: silvie and her mother, paula, cassie and (the next morning) her mother, tory, marcus, rachel (my wifeyyy), jane, maddy, janet (who set me up with this blog, so thank you janet), and my parents (sorry if i forgot someone).
the next morning, i was driven by ambulance to strong memorial hospital. let me tell you, ambulance rides are NOT all that they're hyped up to be. you're basically in a flimsy little box that is bumping back and forth along the road, going way over the speed limit, and oh, you're facing backwards. i got nauseous.
once i got to the hospital, i was taken in a stretcher to my room (unit 634, room 28). i've got the second best view in the unit according to ruben, one of the nurses, and unlike my room at cayuga medical, my visitors don't have to wear masks here. i still can't have flowers, fresh fruit or veggies though.
i've learned that in a hospital, when they say that they don't need to poke you with needles again, to always assume it's false. eventhough they gave me a picc IV, which supposedly allows them to draw blood AND insert medicine into my bloodstream, they still poke me...
another thing they've tried are these things that they wrap around my legs. they inflate and massage my calfs to increase circulation and prevent blood clots. they're nice, but loud too, so i can't sleep with them on like the nurses want me to.
yesterday, saturday, 5/17, i was officially diagnosed with APML (acute promyleocitic leukemia). the doctor says that most people with this kind of leukemia have low white blood cell count, but it's not unusual for people to have high counts, like me. although this type of leukemia is extremely fast spreading, it's very treatable with appropriate chemotherapy. there's a 70% recovery rate. the remaining 30% also includes people with relapses. i guess this means i've got a good shot. the doctor thinks that because i'm young and otherwise healthy, my chances of complete recovery are significantly raised.
i'll be here for 4-6 weeks and back in time for graduation and prom. yes i'm graduating and will most likely attend clark university in the fall. unfortunately, i will not be able to play on the varsity soccer team because of the leukemia. all my teachers told me to not worry about work (with the exception of my lit portfolio, which i had already pretty much finished before this whole thing started) and i should be able to walk at graduation. prom.... well... i won't have much hair left at prom, so the question of whether or not i'll go is still up in the air.
thank you all for the support you've given me and hopefully i'll be back in action before too long.