Battling Leukemia - Racing to Save Lives


My donation link for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

June 17,2008 - "you have cancer ", says the doctor. Those words would forever change the rest of my life...

 It all started with a small bruise on my right knee. I thought nothing of it. Then it got worse and I started noticing other bruises on my legs and hands. So I went to the doctor and they said it looks like I have low platelet counts, so they took blood. The blood tests came back 2 days later and they told me I had low platelet levels of 65,000, which continued to drop to 16,000 over the next couple days, so they admitted me to the hospital overnight and started me on a platelet transfusion. The following morning they also found out that my white and red blood cells were also low, so they took a bone marrow sample. The results came back the next morning and the bone marrow biopsy came back abnormal.

 (The few days prior to the biopsy, I remember asking my friend Vinson who's a pharmacist what the worst case scenarios could be, of why my platelet levels were dropping. He said well at worst it could be some kind of blood related cancer like leukemia. My first thought was that would suck. That's gotta be a long shot like hitting the 40-1 straight flush in 3 card poker. There's no way that (cancer) could happen to me. I'm sure I'll just take some pills, my platelets will go back up and I'll be out of this place and back to my normal life.)

 He (doctor) then said we've found some abnormal cells. Right then and there I knew… “We've found some leukemic cells” he says. I didn't want to realize it at first. What did he just say? I know he didn't just say I had cancer. The word "cancer" had not yet come out of his mouth so it couldn't be that. Like a naive child I proceeded to confirm, "so I have cancer?" “am I going to die ?” I was so scared you can't even imagine. It was like life had already ended. You have cancer, but we are hoping it is AML subtype M3, which is a very specific type of leukemia, with a different treatment plan and has a very high cure rate. “If you have to have cancer it's the best type you can have,” he says. Well that’s just great, I thought. It was kind of like hitting the 3 card 40-1, I guess, except it was more like you hit your straight flush (woohoo), only the dealer flips over a higher straight flush (aww). At least u still win the bonus. At least I had AML type M3, which I later found out has a 90% cure rate.

 For those of you that don't know, my brother and I both ran the 110 high hurdles in high school and both went undefeated in league and set school records...this is just another hurdle in my life and I will go undefeated. So far I am doing pretty well. I’m glad to say that I have reached my first goal as I am currently in remission. I am currently going through arsenic trioxide treatments and have 2 more round of chemo after this. I could not have done this without the love and support of my family and friends. I am lucky to have such great people in my life. Much thanks to the doctors and nursing staff that have been taking care of as well.

 I know this experience has changed my life. Everything happens for a reason as the cliche goes. Although I have not specifically found that reason or exactly what this holds for my future , I see more clearly, the things that matter in my life and the things I want to do in my life. It’s no longer a question of “Why me?”… I’m learning to see this experience as a positive force and have begun making some lifestyle changes. They say people go on to do great things after experiences like this…I mean come on, I’ve already learned to do the rubix cube and have become a guitar hero master….Life is good…

Speaking of lifestyle changes, I wanted to let you all know that I have picked up cycling (courtesy of Louis Ng for getting me hooked on that), to help get my body back in shape, which will hopefully keep my body strong for the next 2 rounds of chemo coming up. I’ve also become a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training organization, to help raise funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma will cause the deaths of an estimated 52,910 people in the United States this year. Every ten minutes, another child or adult is expected to die from leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. This statistic represents nearly 145 people each day, or six people every hour.

 Louis and I are training to cycle in our first century rides (yes that’s 100 miles on a bike!!!feel free to join us). As long as my treatment plans don’t interfere, I will be participating in the Solvang Century Ride in California on March 14, 2009. I was inspired by Mary Llamas who is also a member of Team in Training, and she just completed the Long Beach Marathon, so congratulations to her. Please help us raise money for this great cause and forward this link to everyone that you know to help raise awareness in the fight against blood cancers!

 “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” R. Frost

 Thanks for your support! Please feel free to donate at my website (

chrismang chrismang
26-30, M
4 Responses Nov 12, 2008

I know you're pain, your fear and situation... never lose hope my friend

I'm with you to fight for a cure, sadly i lost my best friend to it, my father. I pray others may be saved.

Ayurveda: The alternative treatment for leukemia. <br />
<br />
There are traditional Ayurveda practitioners (Vaidyas) in India who successfully treat blood cancers with out debilitating negative side effects. It will be to the advantage of newly diagnosed leukemia patients to opt for Ayurveda treatment avoiding chemotherapy and BMT. Remission is amazingly faster, with less chance of relapse. Once cured, they live life to the fullest. Ayurveda Siddha formulations along with marma tantra and prana vidhya are much superior to all other medications in healing different difficult diseases. Intricate course of repeated refining, elaborate processing and enrichment of formulations make these medicines superior and they work in a highly efficient manner. A patient recovering from leukemia under such treatment is like a new physical being, with the body undergoing total regeneration. Maharishis and masters have handed down the Vedic knowledge from generation to generation for thousands of years. I recommend ailing leukemia patients to go Ayurveda treatment by a master practitioner with such a linage of ancient tradition. I am one of them.<br />
As a Vaidya, I am much agonized and concerned about the sufferings and loss of life of millions, especially the children, with modern medicine often failing to cure blood cancer and other cancers. It is my earnest wish to integrate the ancient Indian science of life with CAM research or/and alternative health care programs for the larger benefit of humanity. Also, it is my sincere request to the international scientific community to focus on how these practices that lie outside conventional science may be appropriately utilized.<br />
Let us save the lives!<br />
Vaidyan.<br />
(Cochin, India)<br />
<br />

that is an amazing story! Thank you for bravely sharing