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Tom's Cancer Journey
I went into the hospital with shortness of breath and sharp left sided abdominal pain. After a number of blood tests and CT scan I was discharged with Anemia
and told to take it easy avoiding high impact sports for the next few days and to follow up Monday or Wednesday with hematology for further review.
I woke up with terrible abdominal pain and was hardly able to get up and walk without feeling exhausted. After receiving some advice from a friend that works in the field, we decided to go to the University of Minnesota emergency room. That's where everything became very real! The Physician Informed us that we should've never been released and sent home because of how dangerously low my counts were. They immediately drew on the labs and started to look at the results from the day before. They immediately came across results from my blood smear that showed I may have a rare form of acute leukemia that needed to be confirmed by a bone marrow biopsy. They immediately performed the test and sent it off to the lab. Because of my blood test and the smear results from the day before, they decided to admit me and start chemotherapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia. They were very concerned and wanted to start chemotherapy right away! If it came back positive for APL that I may have only 3 to 7 days left without starting treatment.
I'm going to be in the hospital for the next 28 days or more receiving blood, platelet transfusions and two different types of chemo. The chemo that I'm receiving is Arsenic Ttioxide and Vesanoid twice a day.