It's been a long road to diagnosis for me. I first got sick and was hospitalized in 2008 for high wbc, fever, swollen glands, and severe body aches. Docs gave me IV steroids and antibiotics, I improved, and was released without an explanation. I seemed to recover, but over the next few years more symptoms developed. I was eventually diagnosed with 2 rheumatic diseases but last summer, my rheumy started second guessing herself and referred me to a Hema/Onc after repeated high WBC's.
Testing revealed the Philadephia chromosome and BCR-ABL fusion gene. Doc has no question as to the diagnosis, only the phase I might be in.
My biggest fear is that this was not caught early enough and that I may be in a more advanced stage. I have many symptoms. I lost 40 lbs last year without trying and more recently another 10. I have muscle, joint, and bone pain which can be severe at times. I've had a few episodes of profound weakness and fatigue which the Hema/Onc said may have been cytokine storms. If it happens again, I am to call her right away and may need to be hospitalized. I don't have drenching night sweats, but I wake up between 2-3 am every morning throwing all of the blankets off, turning my ceiling fan on, and pulling my hair up because I'm hot. I run low grade fevers, have rashes, little to no appetite, and generally feel blah. My PCP started me on Cymbalta a month or so ago and it is helping with both my energy and pain levels. This has been going on for months.
Can you know when you've progressed past the chronic phase or do you just have to be patient and wait for the bone marrow biopsy results?
I still can't believe this is happening, but I want to know as much as possible as far as what to expect. Doc makes it sound so easy, but I know from the rheumy stuff that it's never as simple as they say!!