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…has been a breeze, so far.
I almost feel ashamed to call myself a cancer survivor, since that term implies overcoming some sort of struggle. My greatest struggles thus far have been watching my feet and ankles swell to unflattering proportions, exercising patience in waiting rooms, and attempting to decipher the cryptic bills that show up at our house.
Lucky for me, the water retention in my feet and legs was the only real side effect of my treatment drug (Gleevec), and it disappeared after about a month.
Even more importantly, my white blood cell count dropped from a whopping 235,000 when I was diagnosed to around 6,000, taking me back into the normal range after only a month of treatment. Gleevec really does seem to be the miracle drug that it is touted to be!
Decreasing my white count to a normal level was the first of three milestones in my treatment. The next one is becoming FISH negative.
FISH?
Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization, of course.  I love this CML lingo!
I had a FISH test the other day to see whether I still had CML cells in my blood. Apparently I do (and am thus labeled “FISH positive”). The goal is to be FISH negative by 6 to 9 months.
CML (Here is what my Philadelphia chromosomes look like in the FISH test. Pretty, huh?)
My next FISH test is in November. I’ll keep you posted on my FISH status!
Thank you so much again to everyone for their prayers and support through this process. And thanks to the creators of Gleevec for letting me be able to live, for the most part, without realizing that cancer is a part of my life.
~Sonja

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