I have spent the better part of today being grateful that my chronic myelogenous leukemia is currently being controlled by an oral medication. This medication is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, also known as a TKI. For many of us that are diagnosed with CML, this medication is literally a life saver; this life saver comes with its’ own risks and complications, but despite the risks and side effects, it allows many of us to live a full life.
Not everyone that is diagnosed with CML is as lucky as I am; there are many people that become intolerant to these medications, thus allowing CML to wind its’ ugly head, back into control. A little over a year ago, a young man that I befriended through a Facebook CML Group, became intolerant to these medications.
This left him no choice but to undergo a bone marrow transplant. I know that when I was first diagnosed with CML, I asked my oncologist why, if I could be “cured” through a bone marrow transplant, I wouldn’t go ahead and have a BMT, instead of taking toxic medication for the rest of my life. He replied that the risk of a BMT far superseded any risks that I would be taking by staying on the preferred route, of oral TKI’s.
He told me to be diligent in taking my medication and to hope that I never had to cross the BMT road, but if that time came, we would cross that bridge when we got there. He believed that it was the best choice, allowing me the best quality of life, while living with a chronic cancer.
My friend, on the other hand, had that choice made for him when he failed treatment. This year has been a very difficult year for him, and his family. He is currently in ICU with more complications post bone marrow transplant; he has not had an easy time of it. I understand that he is in critical, yet stable condition and needs our prayers now, more than ever.
He has been on my mind, and in my heart all day and I cannot shake this feeling of helplessness; there is nothing that I can do ; except pray, and pray I will; but what I really want to do is kick and scream and look CML in the eye and say, “Hey, give him a break! He has fought the fight, tooth and nail; he gave the TKI’s a shot and suffered through a bone marrow transplant, so give him a break. Allow this young man to heal”
Unfortunately a bone marrow transplant does come with many risks, but I would certainly like my friend to recover from these complications so that he can get back to living his life, with his family.
God Bless you, My Friend.