I firstly wanted to say thank you so much to everyone that reached out to me with support and love via comments, calls and messages. It was truly overwhelming and I am so grateful that I have such an incredible support system amongst my friends, family and music family.
The last few weeks have been crazy but I’m doing well and looking forward to starting treatment, finally, today. I’ve had to do a lot of reading and learning so I thought I’d share a couple quick Chronic Myeloid Leukemia facts with you guys!
CML is a rare form of Leukaemia which is a type of blood cancer. Approximately 675 Canadians are diagnosed with CML each year. It is caused by a translocation of the 9th and 22nd chromosome forming a new gene called the ‘Philadelphia’ Gene that causes your body to create blood cells non-stop.
Because of the genetic translocation, chemotherapy is not used as a form of treatment. Instead a new group of drugs called Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors is used that target the genetic defect. The only cure for CML is a Stem Cell Transplant, but most people are able to live relatively normal lives on TKI treatment for as long as they respond to the treatment. The cost of this treatment can be as high as $5800/month, for life, which is why it takes a while to arrange coverage through the Government, Insurance and Drug Company assistance.
While this will affect the plans we had to start a family soon, there are still options available to us that we can explore when we are ready.
Last weekend Bill Ashton and I found a support group in Toronto we attended where we were able to meet other people living with CML and their spouses/caregivers and it was extremely helpful and gave me a lot of hope that this will just be a tiny bump on my journey.
So fingers crossed, here goes nothing! Looking forward to being back to my old self in no time:)
*Originally Posted on Facebook