I’ve had my most recent PCR 5.5 years and finally 0.01 (MR4) on the dot which I am really happy about. I’ve hovered at this level for about a year so defo turtle mode but happy that I am stable. Turtles finish races too haha.😜
On another note I thought it was important to address mental health especially being a guy (as we don’t often express ourselves) and very rarely admit when stuffs not right, and true also for the ladies. Mental health is still such a taboo but it does seem to be improving or at least on the surface it’s more widely recognised which is encouraging.
I’ve suffered with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) for most of my life undiagnosed and although I can’t prove it I believe it’s attributed to my CML. I’ve been through some pretty consistent traumas and worry’s over the years (like a lot of us have) We all know stress is a killer and what it can do to the body so it’s my own theory which is partly backed up by many articles I’ve read on stress and cancer.
I had decided to address it and got an official diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder & Depression from the doctor which was one of the hardest things to admit but one of the easiest calls with a doctor I’ve had (the depression diagnosis had suprised me somewhat) however now that I am not depressed I can see that I certainly was for many years. I used to attribute my constant and debilitating fatigue to TKI well now I know after 3 months that it wasn’t but it was mental distress.
I have been prescribed Sertraline 50mg (which is ok with Nilotinib) which I have been on for 9 weeks and it’s the best I’ve felt since being a teenager (now 43) in fact I don’t think I’ve ever felt this good.
I figured I already have to take meds so what’s one extra pill that’s going to greatly improve my life. I’ll also be having CBT in the coming months which is only going to help the situation further.
The point of airing this is to show that it’s ok to not be ok, CML as well as general life worries we all have does and will take its toll if you’re not vigilant. My energy is the best it’s ever been I won’t lie though the road has been a bit bumpy while the meds stabilise and when I have a good day wow they really are good days so don’t deprive yourself of being functional, much happier and stress free (less anxious) and seek the help you need.
Not everyone who’s diagnosed will suffer the same but more emphasis must be put on the mental turmoil of a CML diagnosis as much if not more than the physical aspect of it.
I hope that encourages others to get help if they’re feeling the strain, it isn’t a weakness to admit it but a weakness not to admit that you might need the help too. If not medication then a combination of that with some talking therapy.
All the best