Surrey Memorial Hospital

It is a good thing I got over my “fear” of sleeping in other locations with a room full of people. I have stepping stone to thank for that. I was originally put in a hallway but was later moved to short term medical care. In short term medical care I had 3 people pretty much right beside me, all male. Strange, but I as getting someone to take me seriously and that’s all I cared about. 

The plan was to get a bone marrow biopsy to find out what was killing my platelets and white blood cells. In the meantime I had loads of more blood work. 

They were checking for more autoimmune diseases and bacterial infections in my body. The Friday I was admitted my platelets were 53, normal is between 150-400. My white blood count was 1.4 normal between 4-10, red blood cells were still ok . The following day, Saturday it dropped again. Platelets were 42, WBC was 1.3. Then Sunday platelets were 33 and now hemoglobin (RBC ) dropped to 108, normal is 120-155. You will hear me refer to these counts a lot. So you can see how quickly the numbers were changing. I knew something bad was going on by this point. 

Sunday evening I was able to see my kids. It was the first time since Friday morning. It was very emotional for me. I tried to hold it in but I just missed them and was sad they had to see me so weak. Dylan asked me if I had cancer. It killed me to hear him ask that but at that point I said no, don’t worry. It was a nice visit with the family but that night the kids started getting sick with the flu. I still haven’t seen them because you can’t have the slightest cough , rash, even cold sore if you come see me. It sucks. 

Monday morning I was alone in my cubby when the internal medicine doctor came in. She had a bit of a grave look on her face. She told me I was being transferred to VGH for my bone marrow biopsy and for further investigation. I ask why, what was the problem. That’s the first time I heard that I most likely had a blood cancer. Sigh…… they found 4 blast cells in my blood smear. Blast cells are immature white blood cells which apparently you should never see outside you bone marrow. There had been a blast cell found weeks before but know one seemed to think it was significant. 

That was my first real breakdown. I cried. I cried for my kids, I cried for me husband and friends and family. I cried for myself. I’m only 34. I called Aaron right away and My sister in law Marie. Aaron had a sick kid at home so had to arrange to get Madison from school to watch Dylan. I texted my mom with the go ahead to come home. I could bare the thought of telling her. Her brother died a few years back of a bone marrow cancer. She did phone me back right away and I had to tell her. Nothing was set in stone but I knew it was cancer. 

The doctor came back and told me they were going to go ahead with the bone marrow biopsy at Surrey that morning. I was so scared and so anxious. They were going to be sticking a massive needle in my lower back bone while sucking out fluid and taking a piece of marrow. Marie arrived by that point and was very encouraging and stayed with me while I almost puked on her, and  passed out. I was white, clammy , nauseous, it was not fun but I did it. Here are some pics. I asked Marie to take some for my blog. 

I had a lot of support in Surrey. Visits from my Dad and brother. My sister in laws Brenda, Leanne and Marie. My mother and father in law. My friend Krista. I had an awesome nurse who happened to be Marie’s cousin. I was well taken care of. And of course Aaron . 

The Beginning

Date published : January 29, 2017

I’m not even sure at what point I started to go downhill. I remember at the woman retreat I went to with Leanne that I couldn’t walk a long time around the property. That was sometime in November.

I slept many day after work until my kids came home from fatigue. I honestly thought I was being lazy and was wondering what was wrong with me . I was also experiencing headaches on a daily basis. Not super unusual for me but it came with some new symptoms. I would go white as a ghost, heartrate increased , I want to puke. I normally have a handle on headaches but I was so out of it and tired.

Family encouraged me that day to go to emerg and get something for pain. So I did. I had blood drawn and within an hour the doc sent me home with no pain killers and a note to take a week off work. Needless to say , I was not impressed.He also forgot to mention my platelets were only 81. Normal is between (150-400).

About this time I was feeling nauseous from time to time. I just thought it was from the headaches and kept going. I was useless at home. Didn’t see much of my friends. I had a doctor appt booked but it ran too late as we had to make it to Vancouver to a concert. So I just brushed it off as being totally in my head. Maybe I was anxious about something. Maybe it’s because I gained weight. All these ideas of why I felt so crappy.

By the time Christmas holidays started I was pretty well eating half of what I normally would eat. I had no desire to eat. I did but it wasn’t easy.

On Dec.27 we took the kids up to Mt. Baker with some friends. I hadn’t been feeling well. I also had a migraine. I ended up laying in the van while everyone else played. I remember looking over the ledge to where they were taboganning and was literally scared I wouldn’t make it make up. I saved the embarrassment and went in my van.

The next day Dylan and Madison wanted to go to the dollar store. So I took them . We were barely in there 15 minutes and I was wiped . I actually went home and slept most of the day from that. At that point I was a bit worried. This isn’t normal.

The following day or maybe it was that evening, I took myself to the emerg again. I was indeed dehydrated, which I suspected, and so I got fluids and anti nausea through IV . He said all the tests that they ran came back normal but there was a significant drop in my platelets. He told me when I was there on Nov. 27 my platelets were 81 and now they were 61. He wanted to send my blood for a smear and I was to follow up with my doc. The fluids and zofran helped for a few hours.

I returned home and felt a bit upset because I was sick and there’s nothing coming up as wrong. Platelets themselves don’t cause nausea or fatigue.

I made a doc appt with my GP and told him everything that was going on. He said my White blood count was 2.7 normal is between 4-10. Er doc didn’t mention that. He gave a a prescription for zofran and sent me home with a referral to a hemotologist and a neurologist. And sent me for more blood work.

The cool thing about the labs around here is that you can see what your results are. So the following day my results from my blood smear were in and it showed I had a blast cell. I know now , according to the leukaemia pathologist, that blast cell should never just be ingnored.

That night I ended up in ER again. I knew I needed more fluids and I knew I was ridiculously sick for no known reason. My sister in law Brenda came with me. We explained to the doctor what was happening and he stated asking me about family history of autoimmune diseases and cancer. He sent me for a stomach ct which came back fine and referred me to an Interal Medicice doctor at Jim Patterson in Surrey.

We are at the first week of January now. So my sister in law Marie took me to my appt . I explained everything and advocated for myself the best I could but I could tell he wasn’t taking me seriously . At this point I had been on Dr.Google and was pretty sure I had luekemia. We all do that though when we’re sick but the way I was feeling was like I had poison running through my body. I pushed for the bone marrow biopsy that was recommended by 2 other doctors but he had to rule out autoimmune stuff. Booked follow up for 2 weeks later.

So I suffered on. Not able to move much. Not eating or drinking. Thinking I was because I was mentally sick, not understanding why it was taking so long to get this under control. I just wanted answers. I was no longer able to work, or cook, or clean or walk up my stairs without feeling like I was going to die.

I went for my follow up appt on Friday January 20th. The doc kept talking about my platelets and that’s when I just told him I was dying . I said something has to be done now, I can’t do anything. So he picked up the phone and got me admitted to Surrey Memorial Hospital. We made it in! The Lord answered my prayers. Krista cane by that evening. Always makes my smile and laugh even when I’m down. I will write more later but that’s it for now.