Our journey through Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (A.L.L.) which is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. It occurs when a bone marrow cell develops errors in its DNA.
Follow us while Kate (aka K8) battles cancer at the age of 35 years old and what experiences she encounters as well as learn what helps and what doesn’t. We will do our best to keep the blog up to date to help others going through this disease with the thought of helping others in such a troubled time.
Please comment on your experiences if similar and offer what worked for you since this is our first time and we know not everyone has the same experiences.
K8strong the beginning
Why does Kate feel sick all the time?
My wife has been sick for the last three months. Kate made an appointment with her primary care doctor on Dec 9th 2019, which just told her that its a common cold and that she needs to wait it out. An important note is primary care doctor never did any testing (swap the nose, take blood, nothing).
After almost a month Kate’s condition wasn’t getting any better. So I took Kate to Urgent Care and they said the same thing as the primary care physician said, it’s more than likely a viral infection and she just needs to wait it out. They have her a B12 injection and sent her on her way.
After two months she lost 40lbs and appeared to have Jaundice with her coworkers telling her she has a gray tint to her skin. Kate decided to try her primary care physician which held firm on her stance, it’s a cold and you just need to wait it out.
We had a parent from our sons FIRST Robotics team that mentioned she could have Lyme Disease which when looking it up, appeared to possibly be the answer. We were just in Tennessee and she did lead the way down a trail outside our cabin which had spider webs (could of a wolf spider fell down and bite her giving her this Lyme Disease or a tick?)
Kate was having a difficult time standing, having to sit down because she was getting very nauseous and light headed. Horrible migraines which her Primary Care physician prescribed medicine for that which you supposedly have to take as soon as you feel you have a migraine coming on but it usually made her super sleepy. Loss of appetite where she didn’t want to eat anything but Tropical Smoothies for some nutrition. I went to a natural health store and got her some Ginger Shots and some essential oils to help her fight a possible Lyme disease naturally (if it’s even that). Forced her to take vitamins…. Based on one of my friends (rob) recommendation, I bought some Bovin Colustrum and encouraged her to take that since Indians used it to cure many illnesses and in hopes to beat this as well as several other “remedies” but nothing was helping.
While working one day her supervisor recommended the doc she see’s and it just so happens the doctor is in Davison (where we live), Bridgett Dyson, and Kate made an appointment with her this past Tuesday (2/4/2020). I told her, if she says “it’s a cold” we are going to the Emergency Room because I know in my gut its not a dang cold.
The moment Kate walked into the office this doctor has immediate concerns as she confirmed that Kate did not look healthy and immediately ordered three pages worth of blood testing and told Kate if its urgent she will call her that night, otherwise will get with her on Thursday.
We went to bed and around 10:15pm we got a call which appeared to be spam call (no-caller id) but what spam caller leaves a message? Kate listened to the message and it was her doctor saying she is calling right back and please answer. So Kate answered the second time and the doc said, very calmly, that Kate’s blood came back with some concerns and that she (the doc) strongly recommends Kate go to the Emergency Room right away (which I overheard since we were both in bed) so before she even got off the phone I’m getting dressed. I rush her to the ER at McLaren in Flint and of course begin the waiting period.
Once we get pulled in the back room they look at what her doctor sent over and they wanted to double check for themselves so they also took her blood. In a few minutes they came back and said, “How are you walking?” When her doctor pulled her blood her hemoglobin was at a 5 (normal for women its between 12-15) and her White Blood Cells were at 1 (normal is between 4-11). Now in the ER her hemoglobin is down to 4.3 and her white blood cell was down to less than 1. NOW they are giving her a ton of attention and she immediately gets two bags of O negative blood (since she is O+) at the fastest rate they can perform a blood transfusion which is at 150 in hopes to get her blood levels up. Kate said it felt so cold entering her body and it tasted aluminum in her mouth reminded her of a Pepsi which is disgusting to her. She asked for the coke version of O- but I guess they didn’t have any. Did another blood work (checking to see if its raising her counts) and it did slightly but required a total of 5 bags of O-.
So over the course from Tuesday night to Saturday noonish my wife had to get bone marrow biopsy so they can determine what blood disease she has. Initial thought from the hematologist was a-plastic anemia but after the bone marrow biopsy it said it was for sure Leukemia but not sure which kind until results are back from Karmanos Cancer Research in Detroit which we received FINAL confirmation yesterday that it for sure is Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) or otherwise known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia which in children under the age of 12 has a good chance for cure and in adults they says there still is a chance to be cured.
I’m sure I’m missing pieces since my head is drowning in knowledge of what this disease is. I have to apologize that my time is reduced since I am doing everything I can to support my wife while she is going through this without breaking down myself. It’s insane to think of a time where we were both healthy and just enjoying the day probably stressing about stuff that doesn’t even matter today or involved in drama that goes away. Everything now seems so minor (except our Health Insurance).