Nobody expects to hear the words “Your child has cancer.” Nobody is prepared. And in our family’s case, our son Emmett was diagnosed with leukemia in an emergency room, and treatment began that day in the ICU. We had no time at all to prepare, or even to comprehend it all at the time.
Because of AML’s aggressive nature, it traditionally requires aggressive—and immediate—treatment that involves intensive, high-dose chemotherapy and many weeks in the hospital. For older patients, however, such grueling treatment isn’t always promising, and many are mistakenly advised that their time and options are limited.
My son, David, was 13 years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). My husband and I are both medical professionals, and cancer never entered our minds when David exhibited signs of fatigue, sore throat and listlessness.
When I was 3-years-old, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Although I have been cancer free for 18 years, cancer continues to touch my life in a variety of ways. Most recently, I lost my Dad, Dave, to Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I try to stay connected to people who understand what I’m going through. It really helps to talk with others who get it.
I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (AML) in August 2014. Two weeks later I found out that I would need a blood and marrow transplant (BMT). Four out of five of my siblings were tested. My one sister was going to be the donor, but she became ill and passed away before we were able to do the transplant. Afterward, we tried to find another match, but I did not match with anyone on the BMT registry. My youngest daughter Kelly was my only hope for a BMT match.
When Ian Cherico was rushed to the hospital, he was in a fight for his life. “Minutes later and I could have died,” he says. Ian was only 17 years old at the time, and his body was shutting down. It all started with a headache he couldn’t shake.
Watchful waiting is a treatment approach that may be recommended in certain situations for certain types of cancer, including some blood cancers. While this method may seem frightening, understanding the reasoning and science behind it can help to ease your fears.