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My Life with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

I was 45 years old and had a baby that was 2 years old and 3 other children, when a routine blood test was suspect that I might have CLL. A bone marrow biopsy taken from my spine confirmed it. They told me I could easily live 20 years.

Being initially symptom free

I had no symptoms and I felt good. Eventually, my white blood count was out of control and I had a round of chemo. Went into remission for a while. I needed a second round a few years later. The chemo was like putting water into my body. I did not have any adverse effects.
I went into remission again. That was 12 years ago. In November it will be 25 years from my diagnosis and I am now 70 years old. I still have no symptoms. My immune system is compromised because I have gotten a few ailments that normally would heal but one took a long time to clear and another has not, so I just have to be under constant observation to make sure if it gets bad I will have to take care of the problem. I can easily fight off a cold and a couple of years ago I had pneumonia and I fought it off with just antibiotics. I never had problems with my lungs or breathing during the illness.

Putting off visiting the Oncologist

I haven’t gone to an oncologist for a few years and now with this virus who knows when it will happen. I also moved recently from NY to Baltimore and I am having trouble finding an oncologist affiliated with Johns Hopkins. I need all kinds of doctors. I would like them all to be affiliated with Johns Hopkins of course. But meanwhile, the only one I do have is an endocrinologist for my hypothyroid.

My initial feelings of devistation

I was devastated initially being young and with a family and 4 children. I always felt a heavyweight on my shoulders knowing I had a deadly disease. I now have 5 grandchildren, the youngest just born 2 months ago. I want to live and enjoy my large and lovely family.
I still have no symptoms and if I get tired it’s probably because I don’t do any exercise and now being quarantined it’s even worse.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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