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How does the cml condition or limit you?

These are being difficult days since my friends are planning vacations to Punta Cana or Ibiza and the plan is all day drinking and partying like 23-year-olds that they are, I feel that I should not go since it is a plan that I do not It is convenient in terms of crushing the liver and spending more than a week of disorderly life even having the recent disease (November 2020), but on the other hand I feel that I am throwing my life to the trash more and more and more giving up more and more things .. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Where does the disease limit or condition your life? In what moments or in what circumstances does something similar happen to you? Greetings from Spain.

Live your life as normal...drop friends that pressure you to drink a lot.

You can enjoy some alcohol once you've hit MMR but you will likely get more severe hangovers from excessive drinking and its frankly not worth it.

I was able to go traveling at around the same time. You may get more tired more quickly so plan for that. If your friends don't understand that you cant do each amd every party with them then don't go. You may be surprised to find other friends (fully healthy) may be happy to have an excuse not to drink all the night if they have you too keep company.

4 years since diagnosis, 3 countries, 2 continents, countless festivals. I dont drink like i used to and im the happier for it.


I fully agree with Eva. I am more or less on the same page as you in treatment (6 months) and I know the feeling. Although I also discourage excessive drinking (even for a person without CML) you should still hang out with your friends and continue living your life. CML does not mean you have a bad health (although you have an illness) and should be avoiding stuff, CML means you have to have some daily routines and rules which support medication adherence and not compromising drug effect.

I know it is difficult to adjust in the beginning but we as a patient group really have to consider what compromises we have to make but at the same time  we can not let this illness drive us. It is a chronic condition which is manageable such as diabetes or hypertension. Would you avoid Ibiza trip with hypertension or diabetes? Probably not. So you should not avoid it with CML as well. Just, as said above, make sure medication is taken and try to limit alcohol intake. Having some beers per day for one week does not wreak havoc on your liver. 



I do not think it is a good idea to change friends, they are good friends and for many years, even so I do not think I will go on the trip, it is still early, I have everything very recent and I prefer to allow time for things to get better and then go doing things little by little and progressively, I know myself and I know that I would end up drinking excessively, eating badly, etc. I feel that sometimes it is difficult to find a balance between trying to live life as fully as possible or, on the contrary, giving up many things and try to live life as healthily as possible ... even being so young is something complicated, thanks bouth for your answers, being such a rare disease in people of 20 years sometimes I feel somewhat misunderstood and it is useful to get on this website express certain thoughts or doubts (being anonymous helps a lot) thanks again, greetings.

When I was 1st diagnosed I didn’t touch a drop for 6months. Once I hit CCYR I began drinking again. I dont drink that regularly but I’d say maybe once every couple of months I may have an eve out and drink more than I should. You will defo have worse hangovers and prob be tired for days or even weeks after if you’re anything like me.

I can see that you’ve asked this question a few times in several different ways. What I will say is it’s early days for you so don’t be hard on yourself for any decision to drink or enjoy life. I promise you it will come again and you won’t feel guilty for wanting to be young. I will repeat CML is a chronic condition not a death sentence anymore. You’re scared like we all are at times because it has the cancer word attached to it. Try to break that attachment. Over time through more PCR tests amd downward trends you will get the confidence that there is nothing you can do that will give you a bad PCR other than not taking your pills. That’s all that’s consciously required of you. And I repeat don’t miss a dose.

My consultant told me to carry on being normal he even said take your TKI with a beer if you want (and I am on a Tasigna lol). I wouldn’t advocate that but the point is anything in moderation is fine. Drinking doesn’t always mean drunk, you can be merry or even borderline unresponsive it won’t affect your outcome with CML. It will make your liver work harder but I’ve had a few excessive nights normally celebrating PCR results and my levels have always been perfect. I really get the paranoia but it will go and if you have understanding friends they won’t be pressuring you to do anything you don’t want to do. But I say take a risk go and have fun. If you got run over by bus tomorrow you’d have lost out on no doubt a wonderful time with your friends as a young person should and it may be a good distraction too! Go and live your life buddy as best you can. But we all get it! The one caveat is you’ll prob beat yourself up mentally for weeks after because you’ve “poisoned” your body so I get that too.

The one or two things that effect me a lot are cycling bouts of fatigue, insomnia and days at times of feeling generally washed out. All TKI or psychological or both no doubt. And of course it’s natural that we all worry from time to time. The worry never goes but I will say it changes. At 1st we worry about hitting milestones then worry about maintaining them. So if you’re waiting for a time when you never think about CML and 100% confident that you’ll be ok that day won’t come is the harsh reality and I think acceptance is the biggest key to moving on with life rather than resisting the reality that you have likely lifelong CML.


Alex, thank you very much again, you are always there to try to help and give good advice, I really appreciate it, I am having a hard time redirecting my life I know I should go with my friends and try to recover my life little by little but it is complicated and I have a paranoia and a very great social anxiety since I have the disease, even so I am putting efforts little by little and with my head trying to redirect my life as a young man, but I repeat that it is very very complicated .. thanks again for your advice and support, your words help and help express in this forum from time to time thoughts, an affectionate greeting.  Madrid.Spain,

I understand mate and only you are the one to know when the time is right to move forward. Always here to offer advice as best I can because I genuinely understand the struggle I’ve been there myself many a time. But again I promise you it will come not now and not maybe in the immediate but it will come. Hang in there and keep offloading as you are is the best way to start a road to recovery mentally and physically.


Can you explain a bit more why you have social anxiety now after getting the disease?

It sounds like you may be struggling with something else other than the fact of having CML

I don't know but even going out into the street I notice that it is too great for me, when I am with a friend who knows it, I feel anxious because I notice that everything has changed both from my point of view and yours, on the other hand I live in a  small city where we all know each other and I am afraid of being able to meet people who know me and have been without news of me for almost a year since I have been locked up at home without going out and without showing signs of life anywhere or social networks or anything , having to explain what has happened to me and where I have been all this time I suppose it also gives me anxiety, I have always been a somewhat unstable person so I suppose that this disease is magnifying everything a lot, even so little by little I think I am making some progress, perhaps too slow but I suppose I will have to take things calmly in all aspects, thanks for your interest, greetings.

I suppose that it is quite difficult to have gone from my life to living in a big city like Madrid, sharing a flat with friends, being healthy and my day-to-day life was, parties, trips, girls, university life ... to that since the illness , be a sick person, taking daily anti-depressants, having returned to my small hometown with my mother and have not left home for 8 months and that the most interesting thing I can do with my life now is watch a good movie on TV , I know that it may sound exaggerated on my part but that is my new reality, I know that it is in my power to change this and try to recover my life but it is not easy, even so I will keep trying since I think I have already suffered too much and that I deserve little by little to recover my life, I suppose that there is an unconscious part of my mind that thinks that since I have this disease I do not deserve to enjoy and that what I have to do is suffer, I know that it does not have to be like that but sometimes it is difficult to change certain thoughts or emotions ones, greetings.

Very sorry to hear you are going through this!

Sounds like you need support to get the life you want back. From what i read your struggles are primarily mental at this point. I'm assuming your treatment is going well and you are either in MMR or on track for same?

Many of us didn't need much time to be functional physically. Are you well enough to work? If so you can move out on your own. I can imagine that might seem overwhelming at the moment and i would urge you to seek help for the social anxiety - don't lose your life and happiness to it. Anti depressants can be useful but they should be used as a temporary support rather than an end point.

Just before i got diagnosed, i learned vipassana meditation and it helped me. Maybe it can help you too, there is a centre near Madrid and one outside Barcelona.

Btw after getting better from CML, i developed a very serious retinal issue as a result of the CML. I spent one year being treated and without knowing how bad it might get - worse case scenario i might have lost 50% vision in both eyes and with it, any chance of an independent life. The treatment worked and i have retained most of my sight.

After it was all done, i moved to Spain and never mentioned to my new friends about my cml or retinal issues. I wasnt hiding it, i was simply tired of talking about illness and wanted to talk about other things and move on with my life.

Hello, I am physically fine except for some side effects of the medication, however despite feeling fine, my CRP response for months 3 and 6 was suboptimal which does not help me feel calmer but quite the opposite, even so, at the moment my doctor preferred not to rush to change TKI and I continue with 400 mg of imatinib for the moment, I hope things go better, regarding your retinal problem, what a coincidence, I had a retinal detachment about 3 years ago and I lost part of the vision in both eyes, especially the left, however I can lead a normal life in that sense despite the loss of vision, even so it has been an issue that has caused me a lot of physical and mental instability, although since The diagnosis of CML that other problem, although it persists, has gone a bit to the background since it is less serious than my current problem. As for meditation, I have been meditating for several years, however since my illness I do it every day. I used to do it only a couple of times a week or three, but now on a daily basis, if it is true that sometimes it helps to calm me down although many others it does not completely solve my anxiety, as for work I was in my last year of my degree. (law and international relations) I hope to be able to take it up again next year if everything goes well and I feel strong, and as for anti-depressants, little by little I am reducing the dose in order to leave them soon, in short I am making efforts to treat to redirect my life, thank you very much for your advice and for trying to help, greetings.

Best of luck!
I'm sure you can have the life you want.

I was suboptimal at 3 months but was very quick to hit MMR (or so i was told)