After I got my results from my first bone marrow to hear that the marrow was so packed that no useable cells were found and the bone piece that was collected had NO cells in it at all I was referred to the University teaching hospital. After all it is a learning experience for the young Drs in this fine country.
A lovely grey space that I stayed 15 days in.
No towels or soap provided. Ok I am able to overcome this. The big towel on the bed is my blanket. It was nicely stained even though it was clean.
Ok so what came next. I had waited 36 hours in the ER for a bed. That was fun. Mosquitos buzzing and biting and no food even though all the other patients were fed. I guess it was too scary to talk to the foreigner even though she speaks Thai.
We then moved to this room. That was Sunday afternoon and on Monday I had another bone marrow. Again the marrow was too packed to collect a marrow specimen but they got some blood from the bone with a few cells and the bone fragment she finally got after three tries was 2.5cm (1 inch) long and seemed to have some cells in it. Now I wait.
I had had blood taken each day to watch my counts. I also developed a low grade fever that has stayed with me most of the time since. It seems that is a reaction to the cancer.
So as my counts dropped and I slept and slept I waited for my results. The resident Haematologist came with the news that the diagnosis was now AML (Acute Myeloid Leukamia) but didnt know which subtype as he wasnt 100% sure from the smear. Maybe m0, m4 or m5 or a combination of them.
So waiting. In the meantime I saw the neuro guys about my head. It has been bad for a long time and has been getting worse as my health has deteriorated. I got to have eye tests and was told that maybe my shunt is malfunctioning and maybe it isnt but they have no idea. Maybe it works some days and not others, but cant say why. Ok my head is not the main issue right now, leave that one alone.
I had been in the hospital now for about 9 days when the Dr suddenly decides I need to start chemo. NOW!!!! I was like What? You dont know which cancer I have for definite and you want to start treatment??? I dont think so.
But we talk about it.
And talk some more.
And then have a family conference.
And money is discussed.
Cost...Minimum of $15,000USD per round of chemo as long as there are no complications or infections.Minimum stay in hospital to gain remission 1 month. Then there are 4-6 more chemo treatments of one month stay at the same cost and surprise surprise a bone marrow transplant to the tune of $30,000USD. Grand total minimum is $120,0000USD. Cheap really. The clincher is I have no money at all. We had funds given to us and they are all gone as well as more than half next months wages already to pay for this hospitalisation.
Decisions are upon us. What to do?
That will have to wait until tomorrow or later because right now it is bed time and I am tired.
Love and hugs to all