APL Leukemia ROCK THE CURE Benefit Show for Katelyn Ruckman




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Published on Nov 14, 2012

My name is Katelyn Ruckman. I'm 19 years old, I live in Mansfield OH. I graduated Madison comprehensive high school on June 3rd 2011; I'm in college at north central state going for my degree in bio-science. I was diagnosed July 2, 2012 with AML M3 or APL leukemia. I'm the 2nd person in 13 years at nationwide children's hospital to have what I have. My road began on June 28th 2012 when I went to my local hospital for what I thought was high blood pressure problems and when I had blood taken they came back s
aying I had lost 2\3rds of my blood and had no idea how. I was given 4 transfusions that took 4 hours per bag. My hemoglobin was 4.7 when it should be between 12 and 16. The next day I was told they thought I had leukemia and my world came to a stop. On the 29th I was taken down to nationwide where my journey began. On July 2nd I had my bone marrow extraction done to confirm what I had. It came back positive. I never in a million years pictured the day I would be told I had cancer. My surgery for my 1st chest port was scheduled for July 6th and that night I began chemo. My surgery took 3.5 hours and I ended up with a bad case of pneumonia and was on 3L of oxygen trying to keep my collapsing lung up. After one week of having my port it failed and I had a softball sized blood clot in my chest growing under my port. I went back in for surgery to have it removed, I then had my PICC line placed in my left arm and it lasted for 9 weeks. During my month spent in the hospital I had other complications such as the knee I had ACL surgery on got effected by the chemo and put me back in a brace and on crutches, I had several high fevers of 105+ for a week straight and caused bleeding behind both eyes and I lost sight in the left one for about 2 months I'm starting to see better but it will take time. After my PICC line failed I went back under for my 2nd port surgery that has given me nothing but problems including not returning blood or flushing like it should an I had a nurse that gave me a staph infection that I'm lucky did not kill me. I've had enough with this port and it will be coming out on November 20th and I will get a new PICC line. I have been told by many I'm extremely lucky to have what I have because it has a high cure rate but I also disagree some days because I get every side effect and complication from my chemo's. I have a very aggressive type of leukemia that has to be treated with super harsh things including Arsenic IV form for a total of 50 days and 5000 ml, Idarubicin, Tretinion, Cytarabine both regular and high dose, Mitoxantrone, Mercaptopurine, and Methotrexate. None of these are pretty forms of chemo and cause a ton of trouble on the body including kidney failure, permanent damage to the heart, severe pain and sickness but if I want to live then I must go through it. I've gone above and beyond all odds that have been given to me to be where I am today, and hopefully in 2 years I will be all cured and so much stronger than anyone I face that hasn't walked a path close to this.

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    • Michael W. Smith
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