Posted by: janedb | April 3, 2013



BONE MARROW: HYPERGRANULAR ACUTE PROMYELOCYTIC LEUKEMIA (AML-M3) Postchemotherapy bone marrow smear from a patient with hypergranular acute promyelocytic leukemia. A single “faggot” cell with numerous Auer rods is present in a background of normal neutrophil precursors. (Wright-Giemsa stain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By October I was signed off work in agony with persistent  ear infections, and on very strong pain killers that left me spaced out.  On the 14th I noticed large bruises on my stomach and when I cleaned my teeth my gums poured with blood.  I spent the night awake as I could not get to sleep and felt like I had very bad flu.

When my mum came round next morning she took my youngest son to school and asked a doctor to phone me as I was too ill to sit in the surgery waiting for an emergency doctor appointment.  When the Doctor phoned me back and I described my symptoms, she told me to come for a blood test ASAP.

At the Doctors surgery I was taken through for a blood test and then for an examination.  When the Doctor saw my bruises and heard my symptoms she asked for a consult with a senior doctor.  This doctor turned out to be my usual doctor.  He asked me if my bruises were spontaneous and I said they were.  He examined my mouth and found I had blood blisters in my mouth.

He told me I needed to got to hospital and I should wait in the waiting room to be told where to report to at the hospital.  He said lightning does not strike twice.  I joined my mum in the waiting room and waited for what seemed like hours before he came out and told me I was expected at the Osborne Assessment Unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and that I should pack a case.

Mum took me home so I could pack why she phoned my dad and shopped for lunch.  We arrived at the Osborne building and were directed to the first floor.  On arrival they showed me to a bed, took the blood samples I had been sent with then took a medical history.  The bloods were sent off for processing.  When the results came back more blood tests were taken and speculation was made that it may be Leukemia or other conditions.  This was a shock as my eldest son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic  leukemia in 2000.  By late afternoon mum left to cook a meal for my sons as I was told I was being admitted.

In the evening I was moved up to Ward 41 (little did I know it was to become my second home) where the paperwork for my admittance was completed and I was seen by a senior doctor.  She drew the curtains round the bed and confirmed that I had  Acute promyelocytic leukemia and although she would have preferred to wait until someone was with me to tell me she needed to start treatment straight away as there was a risk I may develop serious blood-clotting or bleeding problems.

Treatment was started after I had signed the relevant consent forms. They notified my parents of my diagnosis.  A cannula was inserted and fluids were started as I was dehydrated. I would also need blood and platelets.

My father was devastated and could not believe I had been diagnosed with a condition similar to that of my son. Lightning can strike twice.  I was told I would be in hospital for 4 to 6 weeks.  My parents had to let my children know that I would not be home for at least a month.

I was still so out of it due to the ear infection and could not take it all in, which looking back was a blessing.


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