Blood cancer, or leukemia, is actually a cancer of the cells that create blood cells, or the bone marrow. It isn't actually the blood cells, themselves, that are cancerous. Cancer of any kind is dangerous - there is no such thing as a good cancer. Leukemia takes lives of children and adults every day but at the same time, there are many survivors that are in remission and doing very well. The most common cancer for children and young people is leukemia, and the most common type of leukemia is called either Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). How well a patient does depends on so many different factors including age, cell counts, what type and subtype of leukemia he or she has, the will to fight, and so many other factors.
A leukemia diagnosis is absolutely not a death sentence. It's treatable but you have to keep in mind that it does take lives. I know many children and adults that have gone on to live completely normal lives after getting their No Evidence of Disease (NED) status. Sometimes a patient does relapse but it is absolutely possible that a patient can reach remission and eventually NED status. There isn't a "cure" but it's generally accepted that after 5 years post treatment the leukemia is considered "cured."
My son E was diagnosed with a Wilms' Tumour as a newborn, won his battle, and was recently diagnosed with Secondary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). AML is related to ALL but is still quite different. His cancer is most likely a secondary cancer caused by the chemotherapy his first time when he fought Wilms. E somehow passed his screenings he has every 3 months back in October but in the end of November we started to notice he wasn't quite himself, and he was diagnosed December 19th.
There are lots of symptoms of leukemia but each individual is different. Some display some symptoms while others display other ones. E had a cold in November that he just couldn't kick. We took him to the doctor and he was given an antibiotic. He got a little better but as soon as he finished the antibiotic he got sick again. He usually has a couple bruises here and there since he is a 2 year old. His walking was greatly affected from one of the drugs in his first chemo cocktail so he trips and falls pretty often. But the bruising he had was more than usual - he bruised at the slightest bump. That's when we really knew something was wrong and took him to the doctor again. Once he was diagnosed we found out that his spleen and liver were enlarged - also symptoms of leukemia. Due to the extent of enlargement of his spleen, he had it removed after a round of chemotherapy. So far he has had 3 strong doses of chemo, a consolidation round, he's currently on his 2nd consolidation around and he's labeled as being in remission! He still has 3-5 rounds of consolidation chemo left just to make sure all of the cancerous cells are gone then he'll have a bone marrow transplant when a donor becomes available.
I hope this helped you out some. If you have any more questions feel free to email me ([email protected]
) or IM me (crazycanuckj).