Leukemia is not a death sentence

Cancer is no longer a terrible disease. In fact, blood cancer or leukemia that used to be a death sentence can now be treated so that the quality of life and life expectancy of patients is getting bigger. The hope of survival is the spirit of people living with cancer in living their lives.

Natalia Romin (38), for example, has suffered from a treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) since 2007. CML is a cancer of the blood caused by abnormal chromosome genes. The mother of four children was diagnosed with CML in 2006.

“Throughout 2007 I went back and forth to the hospital. “Physical and mental drop, especially when considering my children,” he explained. When the disease worsens, he experiences an enlarged spleen.

“My stomach grew like a pregnant person, at that time I was increasingly frustrated and lost hope,” he said.

Luckily at the end of 2007, he got information about the drug for CML disease he suffered, namely imatinib. Since taking the drug, his condition has gradually begun to recover.

“There’s nothing more I’m grateful for because now I can do normal activities and care for children, even though there is cancer in my body,” he said.

The fight against cancer was also carried out by Antonius Harjono (41). This man from Surabaya claimed to be very scared when the doctor sentenced him to be exposed to CML.

“At that time the doctor did not explain this disease, only mentioned this type of leukemia and this made me more stressed,” said the man whose weight had dropped dramatically.

“Before, I was a very healthy person, even with flu. So I was very surprised to be declared affected by CML. Especially if I remember children and family, I am even sadder, “Harjono said softly.

Thanks to the support of his family and friends, especially fellow cancer sufferers, Harjono was able to rise. His determination to heal grew stronger after going through the treatment period. “Now every day I have to take medicine. His motivation is to recover and fight cancer, “he said.

According to Dr. Made Putra Sedana, Sp. PD, KHOM, a consultant for blood disease and cancer from Dr. Soetomo Hospital Surabaya, CML occurs in 15-20 percent of adult leukemia patients. “As many as 80 percents of these diseases are found in the chronic phase,” he said.

Clinical symptoms of CML include feeling often tired, drastic weight loss, a feeling of fullness in the stomach, and enlargement of the spleen. However, 50 percent of CML’s disease is asymptomatic. Another sign that strengthens the diagnosis is the results of laboratory tests showing an increase in white blood cells (leukocytes) and platelets.

Imatinib is the only therapy approved for use in patients newly diagnosed with CML and in the chronic phase. This is a therapy recommended by various international medical institutions.