TIM: When I was diagnosed I was absolutely shocked. I went in for a routine physical. The doctor did some blood work for me and called me up about a week later and said there must be something wrong in the lab you've gotta come back in and do a retest.
Kathy: I had been noticing some changes in him. You know you don’t know whether it’s because we were aging or what we were doing, so then to hear the diagnosis it was like OK how did we miss, like did I miss something, was there a way I could have done something better.
Caitlin: I don’t think anything can prepare you for your Dad sitting you down and telling you that he’s sick. From the minute he told us, it was just like taking information in with a firehose….
TIM: I initially was diagnosed with MDS. I had a clinical trial that unfortunately didn’t work. My MDS was moved to AML and that’s when my doctor prescribed or suggested I move to Vyxeos.
Kathy: Tim really decided from the moment he was diagnosed that he was going to beat this…. And he wasn’t going to become the patient. He was going to take all the responsibility for what he needed to to get through it.
Caitlin: We all heard what he said and we all knew that he was going to go at this with everything he had and that I think we all decided that we were going to do everything we could to support him.
TIM: My approach to how I was going to battle the illness was to to fight it to, to work really hard and do everything I could to put myself in the best position to be successful.
TIM: It was important to me to have a routine. I walked three times a day...they had a white board in my hospital room that every morning they would come in and give me the the white count, the red count. Monitoring that everyday and watching it kept me motivated and helped me stay focused on getting well.
TIM: I was fortunate enough to only need one cycle of Vyxeos which led to remission.
TIM: The doctor said that I would have to have a transplant in order to survive my leukemia so that was the only option that I had, which motivated me even more to do my part to get to transplant.
TIM: I was very very lucky to have a number of exact matches. We set a date for the end of the year, in December, and worked towards that goal.
TIM: I think my advice for for people is to prepare yourself for this journey. It is difficult but it’s not impossible. I would tell everyone to try to get in the best shape they could in the time they have in preparing.
TIM: I would definitely set up a group that will support you - friends, family. I started a blog which was very important to me. It helped me communicate my status to important people in my life and it also gave them the opportunity to communicate with me, encouraging me so that was very important…. Having a diary or a journal is important because it keeps you true to yourself… it helps you keep fighting.
TIM: Life is definitely different than it was before I was diagnosed. And being in full remission I think I have a different perspective in life. I think every day is a gift. Enjoying people and and everyday —making the best out of everyday is very important to me now.
VYXEOS (daunorubicin and cytarabine) liposome for injection 44 mg/100 mg is indicated for the treatment of adults with newly-diagnosed therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML) or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes (AML-MRC).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
AML=acute myeloid leukemia; AML-MRC=AML with myelodysplasia-related changes.