REMEMBERING THIS DAY FOUR YEARS AGO


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It was this day on 2005 when I have decided to have my blood tested (CBC and Blood Chemistry) in preparation for a medical checkup before I resume school in June. From the usual one to four hours of wait for the results, I got mine about 3 days after. I remember the anxiety that we felt when the hospital staff refused to release the results without explaining why and what happened.

I was eager to find out why that I have decided to go to another hospital for a repeat exam. I got my results an hour after but it revealed under and over-normal range results. It gave us an idea then, that it is probably why the other hospital I went to won't give me my results right away.

We tried to find information about the results - scouring books and the internet. Though we had initial suspicions based on what we read and heard about, we have decided not to dwell on speculations. We may be wrong and misinformed after all. And so I waited for my doctor's appointment.

I grew up dealing problems with my urinary system. It is the main reason why I was egged on by my parents to once and for all visit my nephrologist for an intensive study. I was a pre-teen since my last intensive work-up (excluding frequent hospitalizations which were passed on as viral infections).

And so I met with my nephrologist. My kidney concerns were set aside as I have to be referred to a hematologist having a clinic a few rooms away. The hema, read my lab results and asked me to be scheduled for a Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy immediately the morning after.

I came in early, about 7am the following day with my mom and sister. The procedure was painful despite the local anesthesia given and was over an hour after. My doctor then asked us to take different samples to different laboratories. I can't remember exactly how much but I am sure we spent more than Php20,000 for everything.

My doctor asked us to meet her at the clinic the same afternoon to talk about her assessment. When we got there, I was nervous yet ready to hear just about anything. I felt that waiting for the CBC results earlier was more distressing than this one and so I thought, "Bring it on!"

She had to tell us straight and matter-of-factually what everything was all about. She said that after her years of experience, she is positive that I have leukemia. As to the specific type, she has yet to confirm based on the histopathology results. She told me there's no known definite cause, that there are treatments available and what to expect if I undergo that procedure. My doctor recommended that I receive chemotherapy right away as she suspects that I have the acute kind.

I remember myself not crying - at least at first. Everything was a blur and so surreal. I can only see my mom and sister sitting across trying to hold their tears. I think let a few drops fall but after that I knew I had to stop. I had to keep a strong front for my family and loved ones.

I started chemotherapy a week after and the rest was history. My life had a complete turn-around --- thank God for my family, friends and faith --- they lead me to where I am now.



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