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-   -   Transformation to AML (http://forums.marrowforums.org/showthread.php?t=6452)

Cheryl C Thu Oct 31, 2019 01:43 AM

Transformation to AML
 
Hello to those who remember me from the last 7 years on the forum. After these years of relative stability, a week or so ago I had a bone marrow biopsy after experiencing a drop in platelet levels from 130k to 80k, plus other changes in my bloods. Yesterday I saw my haematologist and was informed that I have AML with 23% blasts, which is a shock as blasts weren't showing up in my blood until my most recent CBC/LFT. I can't start any treatment until further results come in for karyotype, etc in around 6 weeks.

Has anyone else on the forum experienced this level of blasts, and if so how quickly did they increase?

Hopeful Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:09 PM

Cheryl -

I am shocked and so sorry to read this news! Although this forum is quieter than in years past, there are many of us that still check in. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Stay positive and strong!

DanL Thu Oct 31, 2019 06:05 PM

Cheryl,

I am very sorry that you have experienced this transformation to AML. I went from being very stable and 2% to 3% blasts to over 16% blasts in my peripheral blood. While it may not have been classified as AML, I had a bone marrow biopsy 2 months earlier that showed me as stable.

I went into transplant about 3 weeks later and am fortunately still here. I was being treated with vidaza at the time of transformation.

I wish you the best moving forward.

Dan

Meri T. Fri Nov 1, 2019 02:28 AM

Blasts
 
Cheryl,
I am so sorry that the blasts have come that high all of a sudden.

My first bmb the blasts were 5.6%.
9 months later, the bmb showed the blasts at 8.7%, and a few weeks later I had my transplant.

My platelets at that time dropped too, needing platelet transfusions every 10 days.

I hope your karyotype will be good.
My prayers.
Meri

Barbara K Sat Nov 2, 2019 03:08 PM

Dear Cheryl

I am so sorry to hear this news and just wanted you to know I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and hoping your doctors are able to offer you a good treatment plan with promise of a durable remission. Your experiences taking extra good care of your health these many years and learning to navigate the medical system will surely be valuable assets as you face this unexpected challenge.

In recent years I have not been logging on to Marrowforums frequently, but I very much appreciated your postings in the past and will be checking in more regularly to hear your news and root you on.

Take care and best wishes, Barbara

Rarity Fri Nov 8, 2019 02:06 PM

Hi Cheryl,

I too am so sorry to hear this. My husband also started showing signs in his blood as well and one of the things to go to transplant. Praying for you.

Rarity

Lifeguard Thu Nov 14, 2019 02:14 AM

Dear Cheryl,

I too have not posted in years so I was so sorry to hear your news about your transformation to AML. I imagine it must be a real shock after so many years of living with MDS. I hope youíll be ok, and that you have plenty of support from family and friends.

Cheers Rachael

Cheryl C Fri Nov 15, 2019 06:28 AM

Thank you all so much for your interest and support. It's hard waiting to get the final results so I can know what my options are going forward. Transplant isn't an option due to my age (72). In the mean time I'm having a battery of tests to check if there are any co-morbidities lurking around. Fortunately I still feel reasonably well most of the time. I'm so thankful for the years of stability and reasonably good health I've had.

maggiemag Sat Nov 23, 2019 06:53 PM

:( Cheryl, I am also shocked! After being stable for so long, what a stunner. And all you had was a modest drop in platelets to signal a change. Wow. Well onward you will fight I know. I have heard good things about Venetoclax (sp?) with AML. Hope it's available where you live. Here they do transplants up to 75 if your overall health is good. Have you contacted other large medical centers? Maybe they have changed their limits??

Have faith and courage, and stay determined. We will be here for you whenever you need us.
Mags

Cheryl C Mon Nov 25, 2019 04:19 AM

Thanks so much for the encouragement, Mags. My main symptoms are mild dizziness and nausea, and of course weakness and tiredness at times. I'm still able to continue with life as I normally live it but I can tell that this isn't going to last. My blood results are deteriorating a little with each fortnightly test. Last Wed they were Hb 9.4, WCC 0.7, neuts 0.2, Hct 0.272, Lymphs 0.3, platelets 78, MCV 105.

I think the only treatment available at my hospital is Azacitidine. Depending on my karyotype and the cytogenetics I may have to explore other options.

Cheryl C Thu Dec 12, 2019 05:38 AM

I saw my very nice haematologist/oncologist yesterday, and he informed me that my karyotype and cytogenetics are normal. I'm due to start Azacitidine on 13 January. He thinks that I might do well on it, so I'm hoping .... Interestingly he didn't rule out a transplant if the Azacitidine gets me into remission. That's a scary prospect tho'.

My AML is a bit atypical in that the peripheral blood blast count has stayed at 10% for the last couple of months and other bloods, though not normal, seem fairly stable. This means I can delay to enjoy some family time over Christmas before I start. If there is a deterioration, I'll have to get started sooner.

One of my son's friends is a retired naturopath and he has given me some good advice on how to build up my system before the Aza starts so I'm going to give that my best shot and right now I'm feeling positive and hopeful.

I would love to hear from people who have been on this drug and to know what side effects you have experienced, when the side effects started in the cycle and how long they affected you during the cycle. Thanks!

Meri T. Thu Dec 12, 2019 07:27 AM

Hello Cheryl,
I haven't been on Azacitidine, but I just want to say great that both of your karyotype and cytogenetics are normal !

You are so positive ! Wishing you the best.
Meri

Callie Sun Dec 29, 2019 09:36 AM

CherylC - I haven't logged on in quite some time. Was very shocked and saddened to see your posts, as you became like family during Dad's bout with MDS and AML. As you'll possibly remember, my dad, Bailie, was on azacitidine for MANY cycles and did very well with it! He was able to live almost completely normally during this treatment. Just remember to take the meds for nausea and constipation - very important. Please know I'm thinking of you and really, really hoping for the best for you!! I know you'll continue to overcome!

maggiemag Thu Feb 13, 2020 01:12 AM

Hi Cheryl! I think it's been weeks since you last posted, so I am hoping you are able to give us an update in your situation? I'm hoping that it's all positive, and you are tolerating your treatment well. Have you found several different options, or is it still Vidaza?
Still sending positive thoughts and prayers your way, Cheryl.

Mags

Cheryl C Fri Aug 28, 2020 02:48 AM

Hello there at last! Well I made it thru 6 cycles of Azacitidine and have gone into remission. Thanks for all the encouragement folks. It was a very rough road and I many times I ended up in hospital from side effects or infection.

I had 4 weeks off after cycle 6 and have just finished week 1 of a new regime of 5 days every 5 weeks. Hopefully Iíll be better on this. So far so good!

I hope youíre all doing well.

DanL Fri Aug 28, 2020 03:26 PM

Hey Cheryl,

It's great to read that the Azacitadine is working well for you. I am sorry about all of the side effects. It really can drop your counts around week 2-3 of each cycle.

Here's to continued success and improving health!

Dan

Callie Fri Sep 4, 2020 04:41 PM

Oh, Cheryl!!! You don't know how happy I am to see your post. I'm sorry it was a rough road, but I'm soooo glad to see that you're doing okay. I've been thinking of you and wishing you the best!!!!

maggiemag Sun Sep 6, 2020 01:04 AM

Oh, praise God, Cheryl! SO glad to hear from you! Letís just think positively that the coming rounds will be easier. Thanks for posting!

Cheryl C Thu Oct 29, 2020 02:26 AM

Hello marrow forum friends.

Well, after remission I tried to continue on the lower maintenance dose of Azacitidine, 5 weekly (instead of 4 weekly) but within a week I was back in hospital again for a week with spiking fevers and rigors - so debilitating!

My haematologist completely agreed with me that I couldn't take any more. All up I had 10 admissions to hospital while having treatment. I still have lingering pseudo gout in my left wrist which suddenly appeared during treatment and attacked both wrists and one ankle.

Having said all this, the Azacitidine did put me into remission and for that I'm very thankful.

2 months post treatment I'm doing quite well. My bloods are still low (Hb92, platelets 53 and WCC 1.2 (neuts 0.9) but they've been fairly stable. I'm struggling to put on the 5-6 kgs I lost - too thin at 45.8 kg. However I'm walking for 1/2 an hour at least every day again (unless it's windy and raining). I thank God every morning that I'm alive, and my future is in His hands.

Thank you again for your support and encouragement!!

Rarity Fri Oct 30, 2020 02:49 PM

Good for you Cheryl! Even though the bumps that come along with this disease, keep on fighting! Did they give you something to try and prevent gout during treatment? I ask this because my husband is on medication for that during his treatment with relapsing to aml. Wishing you a long remission! Take Care.

Rarity

Thomas Hawkinson Thu Jan 7, 2021 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheryl C (Post 53496)
Hello to those who remember me from the last 7 years on the forum. After these years of relative stability, a week or so ago I had a bone marrow biopsy after experiencing a drop in platelet levels from 130k to 80k, plus other changes in my bloods. Yesterday I saw my haematologist and was informed that I have AML with 23% blasts, which is a shock as blasts weren't showing up in my blood until my most recent CBC/LFT. I can't start any treatment until further results come in for karyotype, etc in around 6 weeks.

Has anyone else on the forum experienced this level of blasts, and if so how quickly did they increase?

Hi Cheryl,
I was diagnosed with MDS back in 2013. My treatment Vidaza stopped working in early June, 2020. Moffitt Cancer center did a bone marrow biopsy in early July, 2020 and I too had blasts of 22%. (AML territory)

Moffitt placed me in a clinical trial shortly after and in December, I had another biopsy done and my blasts dropped down to 11%. I take a pill twice a day and that is it. The pill is called SX682. It seems to be working. You can look it up on the internet. I have had no side effects.

Tom H.


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