Presentation on theme: "Survivor's Story A diagnosis of a life threatening disease can be very overwhelming and often times devastating, particularly when you have been delivered."— Presentation transcript:
Survivor's Story A diagnosis of a life threatening disease can be very overwhelming and often times devastating, particularly when you have been delivered the news more than once. Upon my initial diagnosis, nearly seven years ago, I remember so distinctly the physician's words as they lashed out at me, "You have dangerous disease".
How could this be? At the time, I held a job that required me to travel all over the world. It was not unusual to be on a plane several times a week. Anyone that was a road warrior would be tired and bruised. Little did I know that I was sick and deathly sick for that matter. Suddenly my world began to change and what was about to happen to me was the start of an incredible experience.
Preparation & Hope Like any journey, there is always preparation. Even though the statistics were not promising, I knew that I would have to compose a plan so that I would successfully achieve remission. This proved to be a strenuous endeavor since I was still digesting the diagnosis. Hope is an essential part of the will to live. I was already a survivor, for I was still alive after hearing that I had that disease. The greatest single mortality factor in this disease is the patient believing that death and it are synonymous..
What is leukemia? Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. Blood cells are made by your bone which is marrow, the soft tissue in the middle of most bones. In leukemia, the bone marrow starts making too many white blood cells, and sometimes these cells don't work right. These cells keep growing when they are supposed to stop. They also grow faster than your other cells. Over time, these abnormal cells crowd out your normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
The characteristics of normal cells Normal body cells have a number of important characteristics. They can RRRReproduce themselves exactly SSSStop reproducing at the right time SSSStick together in the right place SSSSelf destruct if they are damaged BBBBecome specialized or 'mature'
How cancer cells are different Cancer cells are different to normal cells in several ways. These are some features of cancer cells They carry or reproducing. They don’t obey signals from other neighboring cells. They don’t stick together. become specialized, but stay immature. They don’t die if they move to another part of the body.
Cancer cells don't stop reproducing Unlike normal cells, cancer cells do not stop reproducing after they have doubled 50 or 60 times. This means that a cancer cell will go on and on and on doubling. So one cell becomes 2, then 4, then 8, then 16....
The cancer cells may be able to stop themselves self destructing. Or they may self destruct more slowly than they reproduce, so that their numbers continue to increase. Eventually a tumour is formed that is made up of billions of copies of the original cancerous cell. Scientists describe cancer cells as being 'immortal'.
Cancer cells do not obey signals Something in the cancer cells overrides the normal signaling system. This may be because the genes that tell the cell to reproduce keep on and on firing. Or because the genes that normally tell the cell to stop reproducing have been damaged or lost. So the cancer cell keeps on doubling, regardless of the damage the extra cells cause to the part of the body where the cancer is growing.
Cancer cells do not stick together Cancer cells can lose the molecules on their surface that keep normal cells in the right place. So they can become detached from their neighbours.
This partly explains how cancer cells spread to other parts of the body
Cancer cells do not become specialized Unlike normal cells, cancer cells do not carry on maturing once they have been made. In fact, the cells in a cancer can become even less mature over time. With all the reproducing, it is not surprising that more of the genetic information in the cell can become lost. So the cells become more and more primitive and tend to reproduce more quickly and even more haphazardly
Grade The more normal a cancer cell looks, the lower its grade The more abnormal or less well developed a cancer cell is, the higher its grade. We can classification these as low, medium or high grade. or 1, 2, or 3 grade where grade 1 is low grade and grade 3 is high when a low grade cancer is likely to be less aggressive in its behavior than a high grade one.
What causes leukemia? is no single known cause for all of the different types of leukemia. The different leukemias likely have different causes, and very little is certain about what causes them. Researchers have strong suspicions about four possible causes:
Natural or artificial ionizing radiation. Certain kinds of chemicals. Some viruses. Genetic presdispositions.
Symptoms Like all blood cells, leukemia cells travel through the body. Depending on the number of abnormal cells and where these cells collect, patients with leukemia may have a number of symptoms.
Common symptoms of leukemia may include Fevers or night sweats. Frequent infections Feeling weak or tired Headache Bleeding and bruising easily (bleeding gums, purplish patches in the skin, or tiny red spots under the skin)
Pain in the bones or joints Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (from an enlarged spleen ) Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck or armpit Decreased appetite and weight loss because you feel full and don't want to eat
Types of leukemia There are various types of bone marrow cells, various types of leukemia can develop each requiring different treatments. The main types of leukemia are as follows:
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) this is a cancer of immature lymphocyte cells, known as lymphoblasts. This disease is the most common type of leukemia in young children, usually between the ages of 1 and 7 and is quite rare in adults.
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) this is a cancer of the immature myeloid cells. This disease occurs mainly in adults but can also affect children.
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) this is a cancer of the lymphocyte cells. This disease is the most common type of leukaemia affecting adults, and is very rare in children.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) This is a cancer of the neutrophils cells. This type of leukemia is rare in children and commonly affects male adults more than females.
How can treatment of leukemia? Treatment depends on what kind of leukemia you have and how far along it is. Treatment can range from watchful waiting to a stem cell transplant. Usually it includes chemotherapy and sometimes radiation treatments
Living with cancer The patient have the cancer cell have change in life and relation ship live each dayThink about how you want to spend your time what is important to you and what is not. Some of your future plans The patient have the cancer cell have change in life and relation ship live each dayThink about how you want to spend your time what is important to you and what is not. Some of your future plans – Many hospital cancer department have asocial worker available for patients. – Many hospital cancer department have asocial worker available for patients. meeting the challenge when the cancer recure meeting the challenge when the cancer recure taking time :support for people with cancer and the people who care about them taking time :support for people with cancer and the people who care about them