The subject of Blood Cancer is very serious to me. Jamie stopped by my mom’s house over the weekend after learning that my younger brother had conquered leukemia. She asked me to tell her more about the cancer as far as what it is, what the symptoms are, and what kind of treatments are available. I told her I would explain what I know to her in the simplest way I can.
I know first hand that there are three different major types of blood cancer, Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma. Nobody knows exactly why or how someone can get any of these blood cancers. I have a personal experience with a type of blood cancer called Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia or CML. My brother was diagnosed with leukemia at age 15. Throughout his treatment; he acquired meningitis, pneumonia, and graft-versus-host disease. “Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD or graft) is a common side effect of a bone marrow transplant (also called a BMT)”. (National Marrow Donor Program, 2008) I will not go into much detail about GVHD because I still really do not understand it. My brother developed vitiligo, a common skin disorder because of the graft. “Vitiligo is a relatively common skin disorder, in which white spots or patches appear on the skin. These spots are caused by destruction or weakening of the pigment cells in those areas, resulting in the pigment being destroyed or no longer produced.” (Vitiligo Support International, 2008) During this whole ordeal, his doctors noted at least four different times where my brother was “not going to make it.”
I chose to research this topic because I wanted to gain further understanding of the cancer besides the first hand knowledge I received while dealing with my brother’s situation. I also want to learn how it affects the body and what procedures and treatments are available to treat and possibly eliminate it.
Jamie, remember all the fun you had when you were fifteen? Age fifteen, a time when teenagers are just beginning to be a teenager....
References: Aetna IntelliHealth® (1998-2006) Diseases & conditions, Cancer, Blood cancer, Overview of blood cancer Retrieved July 26, 2008, from http://www.intelihealth.com/
de Villers, R. & de Villers, A. (2004) The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, Disease information, Treatment & clinical trials Retrieved July 28, 2008 from http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org
de Villers, R. & de Villers, A. (2008) The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, Disease information, Leukemia, Chronic myelogenous leukemia Retrieved July 28, 2008 from http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org
Kosmix Right Health (2008) White cell count (search), Definition, Paragraph 7, Normal results Retrieved July 28, 2008, from http://www.righthealth.com/Health/white_blood_cells- Diagnostic_Tests-White_Blood_Count/-od-definition_adam_1%25252F0036431-s
National Marrow Donor Program (2006) Patients and families, Life after transplant, Long term effects, GVHD Retrieved July 29, 2008 from http://www.marrow.org
Vitiligo Support International (2000-2008) Articles & info, Vitiligo faq, Retrieved July 29, 2008, from http://www.vitiligosupport.org/faq.cfm
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