On December 23, I was preliminarily diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) based on several blood tests analyzed by the Mills-Peninsula and Stanford hospitals. On January 1, I was admitted to UCSF, and on January 2 the diagnosis was confirmed based on bone marrow biopsy results. In about a week or so, we should know which subtype of AML I have, which will give us a better idea of my prognosis and future treatment.
Meanwhile, I’m in the induction phase, which for me means chemo twice daily for 7 days (Ara-C), with the addition of a third drug once daily for the last 3 days (idarubicin). Then I’ll stay in the hospital a couple more weeks to grow back my bone marrow and healthy blood cells. I have a 70–80% chance of remission by the end of that time, which means only a little bit of cancer will be left. If all goes well, I’ll then be able to get further chemo on an outpatient basis. The ultimate goal is complete remission.
The outlook for me is relatively positive since I’m young (this typically hits kids or adults 65+, so being under 46 puts me in a more hopeful demographic) and this was detected early. Other than having leukemia and the occasional bout of nerves, physically I feel better than I have since early November. My blood counts aren’t great, so I have low immunity and need regular blood transfusions to increase oxygen, slow down my heartbeat, and recover my energy, but on the other hand I’m stable and my body is functioning properly.