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Could use some guidance, Anyone diagnosed CML and also a pilot?

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#1 TeslaCoil240


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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:53 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to find someone that is in a similar situation to mine, as information for it is nearly impossible to come by!


Is there anyone here (or know of anyone) that has been diagnosed CML and currently working as a commercial pilot?

The FAA has allowed a few airmen with this condition under control for quite a few years now under a "Special Issuance" medical certificate.

I can't find info on how likely it is to get one on gleevec or sprycel.


I was diagnosed with CML in October 2011. I grounded  myself automatically 1 week before diagnosis just because I was not feeling well, and have not flown since.

Started with Tasigna and got a hematological response quickly within a month.  Around the end of January started getting low platelet counts, followed by low counts in WBC, ANC, HGB. After platelet & blood transfusions every week for about 2 months, a BMB found bone marrow deeply suppressed, so discontinued Tasigna on May 8th due to aplasia. Started on Gleevec on July 1st and have been on it without side effects, other than mild stomach queasiness within an hour or two after taking the medicine. No other side effects.

So my main questions are:
-How was their process with the FAA requesting the Special Issuance
-How long was the process (from initial submission of paperwork, until receiving SI letter)
-How was their communication with the FAA during the process
-Any help from companies like AOPA, AMAS (Aviation Medicine Advisory Service), etc??
-Special Issuance under Gleevec?, Sprycel?

Thank you to anyone with any info!

#2 Susan61


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Posted 16 August 2012 - 01:57 PM

Hi Ivan:  I do not know of anyone in our group who has CML., who is a pilot.  I think your our first.  The only thing I can tell you is that I have been on Gleevec for 11 years with a good response.  Make sure you eat a full meal before you take your dose of Gleevec to have some bulk in your stomach to absorb the drug.  I used to have the Nausea, but after I started eating a full breakfast with mine the nausea stopped.  You sound like your doing good, but I can see your concerns as a pilot.

Maybe someone will have some answers for you, but glad you  joined us.  Just ask anything at anytime, because usually somebody has had the same experience.  Share your experience's also, as it could help somebody else.


#3 wallystl


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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

I understand you are probably looking for answers without asking the questions of people in a position to cause you some issues with your license, good idea.  I'm thinking you should go to eaa.org, join eaa for I think about 45.00 and you will then have access to discussion boards with pilots from every discipline & vessel. I can also put  you in touch with a guy who does annuals who could probably help if eaa doesn't do it. Good luck!

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