Ain’t Leuk a fun guy?… ah, nope
I’ve been doing some leukemia research on my specific type. (This particular research was from Wikipedia so needs to be cross-checked.) As I recall from a previous doctor visit, I have B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (B-CLL) which is the most common type of leukemia. It is a cancer of the white blood cells. CLL is definitely NOT B-cell lymphocyte friendly.
As I understand it, normal B-cells (I’ve always been an abnormal person and used to like it that way; now I’m not so sure!) are born in the bone marrow and develop in the lymph nodes producing antibodies that fight infection. (This is based on what I’m learning from my web research; do your own research too… remember my Disclaimer Page?)
But with CLL, the B-cell DNA is damaged and cannot produce the antibodies. The damaged B-cells decide they need a lot more friends and grow out of control. Those damn, dumb, derelict, damaged cells (good alliteration, hugh?) crowd out the healthy cells.
My type of CLL is negative for the DNA marker ZAP-70 (that means I don’t have it). That’s a good thing because, according to Wikipedia, CLL that is positive for ZAP-70 has an average survival of 8 years. Without ZAP-70, my average survival is 25 years. Of course, there can be complications with liver or spleen issues and anemia and infections which could lower that survival time but I’m choosing to ignore all that for now.
Since I’m 60, with treatment, if I wind up needing it, I could live out a normal life span. No guarantees though. Remember, in order for 25 years to be an average there has to be people on both sides of that bell curve. I’m hoping I will at least be in the double digits!
So, except for possible swollen lymph nodes, spleen, and liver; and of course anemia; oh, and vulnerability to infections of all kinds (one hell of a common, ah, not-so-common, cold or flu for example), I’m just fine!