Hello! Welcome to the Team Mama Pham hub, where were are focused on beating Acute Adult T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia and restoring Mama Pham back to her vibrant self. Want to share thoughts on beating cancer, patient advocating, getting health data, navigating hospital systems, or anything healthcare, technology, or data? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our mom, the infamous (for amazing eggroll addiction) Mama Pham, was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Savannah, Georgia on August 10th, 2013 and diagnosed with Acute Adult T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia on August 14th, 2013. This blog will serve as an up-to-date documentary of her treatment and recovery. I am learning much during this process about cancer, leukemia, insurance, medications, hospitals and support.
This sudden diagnosis came just three weeks after our seemingly very healthy mom flew across the country from Savannah, Georgia to Sonoma, California to attend our wedding weekend celebration. We had a blast and brought back so many happy, joyful, unforgettable memories that my mom often reminisces about today.
My brother, who is a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, was set to deploy mid-August and went home to Savannah to visit my mom before heading overseas. While he was home, my mom got very sick and he was luckily there to take her to the Emergency Room. Otherwise, I am not sure what would have happened since she tends brush off health concerns. We are incredibly thankful David was there to support her.
She started chemotherapy on August 15th, 2013. So what happened from August 10th-August 15th before they actually started chemo? The doctors were still running tests to confirm it was actually cancer. This involved blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy. The diagnosis of Acute T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia was confirmed on August 14th and she started chemo immediately on August 15th. For those 4 days, she went through 4 bags of red blood transfusions and 3 bags of platelets (need to verify these counts). She developed an allergic reaction to one of the bags of platelets and was briefly sent up to 7th Floor South, which was the closest thing to the Intensive Care Unit. She luckily was stabilized and sent back down 5th floor Oncology.
Some signs of Leukemia that were perceived as something else (flu, too much stress, menopause, clumsiness):
- Easy Bruising
- Bleeding really thin blood
- Extreme Fatigue
The oncologist mentioned that if my brother had not taken her to the Emergency Room when he did, she may not be sitting here today today, strongly fighting back against the chemotherapy side effects.
We are fighting and hoping for the best. I hope to accurately and timely document our learning journey as our family embarks on this fight against cancer. Go Team Mama Pham!
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am the daughter of a beautiful, strong woman who has been diagnosed with Leukemia. This blog serves as a journal for my learning process during our family’s fight against cancer