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Inspirational Stories


chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)

In October 2015, my family had just moved to Texas for a new start.  I had a new career, and two young boys a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old.

I wasn’t feeling well and went to urgent care one day where we discovered my white blood cell count was 113. They sent me straight to the ER where I was all alone because we had no one here yet and couldn’t bring the kids to the hospital. Three days later, I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

My doctor said that I just needed this pill, and it would be fine. The medication was $20,000 a month. I did not have prescription coverage, and we had a bridge insurance plan that turned out to be a scam. I used the resources and stories from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to get myself through that time. I got prescription assistance, and my company hired me on for their insurance.

I am so blessed to be here still eight years later. It was not all rainbows and sunshine. I had many days of pain and side effects from the medications l. I slipped into depression for a couple of years because I just did not feel well and had to learn to adapt to the new normal. Some days it felt like I was not going to make it through and that CML would win, but I would read the LLS stories and see others with similar or worse situations, and I knew if they can do it, I can too.

Now I still get to be here and present every day. I get to be a mom and wife, an individual with dreams, and if I feel down, I know where to go for inspiration. I hope that someone out there feels less alone reading this and knows that others struggle as well. CML is not the good cancer as they call it; you will have good and bad days. There is also some survivor’s guilt I had to work through knowing that I just took a magic pill every day when so many treatments are more invasive. My story isn’t fair because cancer is not fair. You can get through this, and you are not alone.

CML Andrea