After I was diagnosed my consultant started me on a chemotherapy TKI drug called Nilotinib (Tasigna). I’m fortunate that this type of treatment can be taken at home and it comes in a pill format. I take two tablets, twice a day, and stop all food two hours before and one hour after. It sounds quite complicated but you would be surprised how quickly you get into a rhythm.
The first two weeks were the toughest I would say. My body responded to the treatment in a variety of ways. I became very tired (even more so than usual) and I had flu like aches in different parts of my body. I had regular headaches but this was normal for me at this stage. The worst side effect I had was a sharp pain in my spleen. I had an ultrasound and they couldn’t detect anything abnormal. It was most likely my spleen reacting and getting use to the treatment.
After about two weeks most of those side effects stopped. I’m three months in now and all that I have is fatigue and the odd ache here and there. I’ve had a little hair thinning but nothing too drastic. Just a bit more hair on my brush and in the plug hole!
I had a PCR blood test two weeks ago and have finally received the results. My BCR-ABL levels have gone from 98% to 2.5%. I am literally OVER THE MOON. The results mean that the drugs are working and they are working well.
The PCR test is looking at the amount of abnormal blood cells in a sample of my blood. When I was diagnosed 98% of my white blood cells were abnormal (cancerous). Three months in the same test has been repeated and only 2.5% of the cells are abnormal. Amazing progress! I am one happy lady, who is feeling so very thankful and blessed.