Thursday, June 11, 2020

Corona-virus and Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia: Overdue PCR

So here we are in isolation, warned about keeping ourselves "safe" during a pandemic. Our physicians are seeing us through video conference and our hospitals are inundated with people who appear to be contagious and very ill.

It is a strange time to be alive! We are witnessing the shutdown of the world and wondering if life will ever return to "normal".

I feel safe not seeing my oncologist, as my PCR results have been quite stable over the past two years, but I do wonder whether or not it is worth the risk of exposure, to go to the hospital to have my blood drawn, or not.

Maybe I will push my quarterly PCR test out a bit, say maybe a month or two, and hope for the best.


That is exactly what I did! My PCR test was "due" in April and I finally got brave enough to have it drawn yesterday. My last test result was .02% so I was not too concerned with the extra time between tests.

Heading out in public, for the first time since March 8, 2020, felt really, really strange; and a bit scary, too. My eyes feasted in all of the greenery and it felt so good to be out, although I was a bit apprehensive about entering the hospital, to have my blood drawn.

You see, I have a kit that is sent to me by Dr. Brian Druker's office at OHSU, and the only place that they seem to be able to deal with it is in the hospital blood lab.

So, the hospital it is; I put on my mask, pulled up my big girl panties, and headed in! I was immediately met, just inside the door, by a lady standing behind a table, covered with hand sanitizer, masks, and electronic thermometers; plus a sign-in sheet.

She checked my temperature and asked me where I was going. She had on a mask and gloves, but she never touched me. She asked me if I was "sick" or had any symptoms of a cold or flu. After confirming my wellness, she sent me on my way.

There were different colored arrows taped onto the floor and I was instructed to follow the "green-brick" road, all of the way to the lab; do not stop, do not veer off the path, go straight to my destination. I was very cautious and did not touch a thing.

In the waiting area, the chairs were all spaced maybe 4 feet apart and I was relieved to see only one, masked and gloved person waiting.

After checking in, I was instructed to sit. I sat on the edge of a chair, as far away from the other person as I could get. I kept my hands on my lap and didn't move! lol

Thoughts running through my head ranged from, "I pray I don't get sick," to "What a sad time we are living through." It was weird.

It wasn't long before I was called back to the blood draw area. I asked if it had been cleaned after the previous person, and was assured, that it had been. I sat down, being careful to not touch anything unnecessarily.

The gal that drew my blood was a frazzled mess; I do not know why, but she was. I pray that my blood makes it to where it is supposed to go!

She was careful to have her mask on when she was near me, but I watched her take it off and on numerous times, which made me a bit nervous, although, I can understand why she was doing it because I also wanted to take mine off. I feel for people who must wear them for hours upon hours, each and every day; they are uncomfortable.

Reach for the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.
I kept thinking of all of the people in Asia that wore masks before the coronavirus, and it made me sad. With a mask on your face, you cannot breathe as well, it fogs up your glasses and most important is that people are unable to smile at each other. You don't realize just how important those smiles are until they no longer exist.

As I sat there, I also wondered when and if, we would ever be able to return to a mask free world. One that does not put people at risk.

It was a weird experience, but I am glad my blood is on its way! And I was glad to be home to my safe cacoon; once I got there, I washed my hands really well, put my clothes in the washer, and put on clean clothes.

It was a bit strange to be out in the world again, but it gives me hope, that someday we can all look back and say, "Do you remember when the coronavirus shut down the world?"

Until then; Stay safe, stay healthy, and remain hopeful and optimistic!

How are you dealing with treatment?

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  1. Hello! I am an AML survivor with similar concerns about not getting checkups and finally deciding to do it. I'm going next week! By the way, a friend who used to live in Asia said they put masks on as second nature and don't give it a thought. I think they're so used to it that they aren't bothered by it. One of my latest posts is similar to yours, so check it out if you want. It looks like nobody comments but I share them on FB and people comment there. Stay safe!

  2. I totally understand what you are saying on all accounts!! People always comment on Facebook! lol
    I would love to read you post, where can I find it?
    Did you make it to your check-up? I currently have a dear friend recovering from a stem cell transplant from AML, as we speak, and her husband just passed from lung cancer They were both battling cancer at the same time; so so sad.
    My best to you!


Bricks for the Brave!!