Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not Anemia, But Leukemia!

The saga continues: Unfortunately my Cipro/Anemia theory didn’t pan out, although I was on the right track. There was something definitely wrong with my blood. Terribly wrong in fact! I saw my doctor on Tuesday February 8, 2011. We discussed my Cipro side effects and I told him that my muscles, joints and tendons were very much improved, but I was told by my eye doctor that I had blood in my eyes. He agreed that this was a bit of concern, as was the thickening under my left rib cage. He asked how long it had been there and I said that I had kind of noticed it maybe about a month ago. He ordered blood work and a CAT scan and I went home.
I called for a CAT scan appointment in the morning and called his office to inform him that I had an appointment for 2 pm that afternoon. He promptly told me that he was just going to call me and told me to cancel the appointment and to go directly to the hospital as my white blood cells were astronomically elevated and that I had leukemia. The bleeding in my eyes was from the white blood cells blocking the capillaries and the capillaries bursting. They were concerned that I might have a brain bleed. Lovely, huh?
Of course I reminded him who he was talking to just to make sure that he really meant me! I was stunned, not what I expected and not on my list of things to do. I had a bone marrow biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, don’t let anyone tell you that it does not hurt, because it was excruciating!
Leukapheresis and chemo for three days and my blood count went from 372,000 to 98,000. I am a very lucky girl! Now to begin the medication that cost more than $8,000 per month, they tell me that there is help as my insurance won’t pay for it. Ugh! The goal is to get my white count to 10,000 and maintain it.
The type of leukemia that I have is Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia otherwise known as CML. Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers!


  1. Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear this additional news. You will certainly be in my prayers. You have such a wonderful positive attitude I know you can accomplish anything, with God's help! Good luck. Joyce

  2. Michelle email me when you can I have some questions. sorry to hear about your diagnosis :(

  3. An old girlfriend of mine (a nurse practitioner)
    developed lymphoma. She had 10 months of chemo and finally stem cell replacement She has been given a clean bill of health and feels great.Her
    immune system is almost none existent so she has to watch herself for a year. I prayed for her constantly and will pray for you Michele.
    Stay upbeat and read positive Norm Cousins. Bless you....AL

  4. Michelle,
    I am so sorry to hear about your health. So glad they are treating it now and you can get back to dancing!! You have a great attitude...I will keep you in my prayers!

  5. Michelle,

    You are absolutely in my thoughts and in my prayers. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. What a whammy! As if the Cipro poisoning was not enough. Well, for what it is worth, I have EVERY faith that you will skate through this with flying colors, you are a survivor and a woman who appreciates life. We will all be here in your corner every step of the way. If you need anything... (perhaps some energy work?), please let me support you.

    Best wishes - Nikki

  6. Michelle,

    I think of you every day and am praying for your recovery. You will get through this.


  7. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I am confident that you will get through this.

  8. Late to the thread - but was missing your smiling beautiful face at the top. My mom always told me attitude was 99% of dealing with a problem - you sure have the right one! Wishing you good health and fine dancing asap!