Case: AML – Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
It is a type of Leukemia of the myeloid line of the blood cells as characterized by abnormal growth of WBC – white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow which hinders the production of healthy normal blood cells.
For the past days I have tried to read articles, blogs and read from my nursing books all the things about Leukemia and specifically about this AML. This type of cancer is popularly known from last year as this is the exact type of Leukemia that inflicted the Philippine’s Master Rapper – Francis M.
There was never a thorough discussion of Hematologic disorders back when I was in nursing school and so I needed all the readings that I can do to be well equipped with the real deal of this case.
It has been more than a month since I posted my last entry here. So many things have happened within just one month. There goes my 25th birthday, few other birthdays of friends and relatives – happy events. Reason to celebrate of another year of gift of life. Within the span of one month there are also things that we need to learn to accept. My cousin, a 10 year old boy named Baraquiel (named after angel barachiel) has just been diagnosed with the very same type of Leukemia AML.
References I have read and websites have said that AML is most common among adults and is much tougher to beat as compare to the other type which is the ALL – acute lymphloblastic leukemia. I have read Francis M’s happy battle and also Mr. Brokenman a filipino wordpress blogger and they have shared battles in fighting this AML. As we all know one of them have lost the battle though as he said it was a happy battle. I just can’t imagine those painful experience they have gone through will be the same agony my cousin Baraquiel will experience too.
My cousin lost her mother last April 2006 – he was only 6 at that time. His dad, my father’s brother is a tricycle driver and have not actually finished high school and so my Tita Leah the only sister of my father is the one who have cared and treated Bar as her own child since my tita doesn’t have any children at all.
Whew. That was heavy to unload. And there will be more entries that I will post about Bar’s battle to inspire others, for leukemia awareness and possibly for fund raising (I am working on a project about a blog for this).
Bar: Kuya Mark, bakit ako hihinto ng pag-aaral? Gusto ko makatapos, gusto ko maging chef! Pano yung grade 3 lang ako, ayoko naman nun.
My heart almost crushed right after he asked this direct statement because I know I just couldn’t give a direct answer to it.
Bar had his very first round of Chemo – Cytarabine 6mg/day. Will post soon Bar’s battle towards AML just like FM but this time it’s a 10 yo who has just started his own fight against AML.
Hi! I want you to know that I read your post about Bar. What I did learn from our experience going thru treatment for Francis during those 7 last months of his life, is that chemo kills both the bad AND the good cells. That’s as much as I will say and let you make your own judgment. Please make sure you change Bar’s diet. Take out sugars and meat, get protein from soy. Make him eat either brown or red rice. White rice will just turn into starch and then into sugar. Give him supplements called Whole Foods which gives him the prescribed amount of nutrients from vegetables the body needs.
Most important is to keep him laughing all the time. A good disposition contributes so much to the healing process. There is truth to the saying “laughter is the best medicine” after all! Bear in mind that Bar may have a better chance at survival because he is a child and his outlook depends on the people who surround him. You, yourself, should remember to give him the best type of support by always being a positive person. I cannot forget that when FM and I first found out about his affliction, we mourned it a total of two days but afterward we went on with our lives as if he were disease-free.
Of course, in the end, we all know that FM did not make it, but what is good is that we didn’t regret how we spent those last months of his on earth. I would like to know, though, what type of AML Bar has because besides the type of leukemia, there is still what is called the subtype of that particular diagnosis. I need to know so I can maybe add a little more info to your already rich cache 🙂
I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin’s illness. I will keep him and your family in my prayers. He is blessed to have you for support and help. Will follow his story.
I can not help but reply.
The advice given by Ms Magalona is very important. Attitude not just of the patient, but of the immediate family and friends. Get hold of support groups. I think there are some connected with Philippine General Hospital and Philippine Children Medical Center.
Attitude alone won’t cut it. One mistake well-intentioned people make is that sick people need to be babysat. Don’t be afraid to let him play. Let him get wet. Let him clean his room. Exercise (as cleared by his doctor) does a lot of good.
If you change the kid’s diet. Change the whole family’s. Share the meal.
To Ms Pia – THANK you so much for your reply, this means so much for our family. Right now, we are still in the stage of accepting. We are now more focused on how to get his first round of chemo done. Social Service of PCMC, Bar’s doctors have helped us for the first 3 days of chemo and thank God there has been help coming from some politicians even for small amount (it really helps us to get through with this).
The battle against this AML is not just for Bar only but also for the whole family. We need to be more mentally and emotionally fit to support Bar with his battle.
Today, we just received a call from our relative from Australia and they will be sending their financial support for the first round chemo too. I know God will provide Bar with his love and protection to have strength to get through with this.
It will be exhausting for us especially for those who are with Bar in the hospital. Though, the charity ward of Hemo-cancer unit of PCMC is new and they turn on air-conditioning too for the kids at time intervals. I know, this is just the beginning. There are so many questions that Bar’s siblings wanted to be answered, there are still things that I need to explain being the nurse in the family they always look up to me and expect to have an answer for their queries. Bar’s case is not common among children and this will be a battle that I believe is worth fighting for. I haven’t talked to the consultant-in charge of Bar’s case that’s why I stilll don’t know what sub-type of AML he has but Ms Pia – thank you so much, your family has been an inspiration for us. I will try my best to get everyone updated. Also, I’m planning to start a project for Bar. A blog site where his battle will be posted and so others will be inspired and learn from it and also hopefully to be able to help Bar with his battle.
I mourn with you… and I rejoice with you at the same time. Your family is soo blessed and God has a plan for Bar… jst like each one of us, he has a purpose that’s why God placed him here on this earth. Don’t lose hope. 🙂