Hi! I'm Cadence

I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia on February 12, 2018. This is my story.

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Day -23

Appointments: Pulmonary Function Test, Blood Work, ECG, Dental Extraction, Bone Marrow Biopsy.

Today was pretty crazy. Was up early to be at a pulmonary function test where they see how my lungs work before the transplant. Because my care is part of the University Health Network of hospitals, a lot of research and teaching is done as part of my care. I often deal with fellows, students and residents who are learning from the best there is. Today at my appointment I enrolled in a lung function study that they are running, because I already decided from the beginning to enrol in every study offered to me.

I feel like studies are what advance medicine. Even if it doesn’t directly benefit me but could benefit future generations or medical discoveries, being part of a study helps the medical professionals we trust improve future care. For instance- The TKI drug that most people with CML take would not exist today without the many people who enrolled in trials for them. So far I have enrolled in 9 studies and I am proud of it!

The test took about an hour and we went through various excercises where we breathed and exhaled in different orders, speeds and pressures as we measured the functions of my lungs and how well they worked. The chemotherapy and radiation can cause lung damage and you can also develop graft versus host in the lungs, so having a good baseline on everything is part of what helps the transplant team provide the best care to you.

After this I had my bloodwork done to see if my platelets were high enough to have my dental extraction without a platelet transfusion, and to re-run a bunch of clearance tests for the transplant prior to my final clinic and radiation fitting on the 12th. This involved 14 vials of blood and the technician and I had a good laugh when she promised to ‘leave me with enough blood to make it to clinic’.

Then I had a quick ECG next door to the blood lab where they checked the sinus rhythm of my heart.

Afterwards I headed up to the dental office and got my mouth frozen while we waited for my blood results which came in just on the nose of the safe zone- so we went for it! I took some antibiotics prior to the appointment and also used a transexamic acid rinse to minimize bleeding and it was a relatively easy extraction.

It took about an hour for the bleeding in my mouth to stop, and then I headed to the procedures clinic for my bone marrow biopsy. As I was waiting for the nurse to arrive, something in my mouth was driving my nuts, and I noticed that the tooth beside the one that had been removed was partially under my tongue. It had been a previous crown and the extraction had broken the crown and caused it to wiggle it’s way up, post and all into my mouth.

I spoke to the dentist on the phone while they prepared me for the biopsy and he reassured me that they would build me a new tooth next week when I return to fix the cavities that need to be repaired before the transplant.

Then they started to freeze me for the Biopsy. The first Bone Marrow Biopsy I had was probably the most painful thing that I’ve ever experience and I was definitely not looking forward to this one. It was also a fellow performing the procedure which gave me a bit of nerves. When I told her I could still feel the needle during the freezing procedure, she used a longer needle to apply deeper freezing before beginning, and wouldn’t you know it- I DIDN’T FEEL A THING! I mean, I felt some pinching and pressure, but it was literally night and day. I actually turned to my husband and said ‘When is she going to do that bad part?’ and he laughed and said

“She’s already done babe.”

What. A. Relief!

I didn’t know the first time that I shouldn’t have continued to feel the needle after the first few seconds of freezing. Had I indicated that I could have had more freezing. My suggestion to anyone who has never had one before is that if you can still feel intolerable pain, you haven’t received enough freezing and request more! No sense in having pain when it can be avoided. Because they can’t freeze the bone you will feel some pinching, pulling and pressure but it will be a pain you can tolerate.

Afterwards they let me see the sample, which just looks like a core sample of bone and it’s really neat!

Bill and I walked back over to the condo and just relaxed for the rest of the day because I was pooped!!

Tomorrow I’m planning on just hanging out 🙂

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