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My fiancee has been diagnosed with ALL leukemia and I am looking for all of the information I can on this, particularily prognosis, treatment alternatives and suggestions on how I can be of help in this type of situation.
She is a very independent person and despite how much i try to get involved she is reluctant to let me know what is happening because she says she doenst think i can handle it.

if anyone can provide me with information, experiences etc so i have better insight into what is happening please write me a post. if there are questions i should be asking etc. i feel like i am in the dark and dont know where to turn with this to get answers.

i know she mentioned something about her wbc being very low - what does this mean and is it bad? also something about having to do a biopsy? is experimental treatment risky and what types are out there? chemo-experience with ALL? survivor stories would also be encouraging if anyone has some to share.

It is my understanding that this is a condition usually diagnosed in children so has anyone else had experiences with this in adults and is it riskier etc?

any info you can provide would be appreciated during this rough time. please offer honest information as i feel it is better for me to have a grip on what is going on then to be completely devastated by not educating myself on this topic now.

thanks
Acute lymphocytic Leukemia is indeed most often diagnosed in Children, but can also be diagnosed in people over 18. The main feature of the ALL is that the white blood cell count does get low(WBC). The differential(different types of white blood cells) usually show that the lymphocytes are not formed properly and even though there may be enough, they are not functioning right. The biopsy that she is referring to is done by taking a sample of bone marrow, usually from the top of the pelvic area/hip. The lab tests are complex and from the tests the doctors can determine what type of chemo if any the cancer will respond to or if stem cell transplants can be done( I am at this point almost over my head) however, I do know that there are some therapies that are being done in Leukemia treatment where the treatment consists of completely wiping out the white blood cell counts and starting over with healthy cells which are placed in the bone marrow. Then a cell stimulating factor is induced to rapidly increase the production of new healthy white blood cells. This is a very complicated process with a lot of serious side effects along the way. I do not know if this is possible for your fiance based on the limited information you are being given or not. But this is entirely general information and her doctor will be the one to inform her as to what treatments might work. As for how you handle this information, the first thing a patient tries to do is protect others from the realities of the situation, which helps the patient to come to terms with the information and not be overwhelmed. The best thing to do is continue to ask her how and if you can be of any help. Follow her suggestions and do not try to read her mind or fix her. You probably can handle this better than she thinks you can but she is in survival mode herself which means her perspectives are kind of limited right now. This is entirely normal.





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