Fighting Against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
My story fighting against ALL disease
My story fighting against ALL disease
My name is Faisal, I’m 25 years old and from Saudi Arabia. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in Dec. 2010. I completed my treatment on Apr. 2014 and now I’m healthy and cancer-free.
I’m new to your society and would like to share my story. It started on my sophomore year during mid-term exams with a regular fever on Thu. Dec. 9th 2010, I went to college clinic and prescribed a paracetamol and kept on back-and-forth between college clinic and local clinic with no developments. My body temperature was fluctuating 3-times a day, going up to 39 and then normalizes after taking medicine and a good sleep. Then go up again and normalized. I had enough by end of week Thu. 16th, Dec. 2010 and went to the local clinic explaining to the general physician that it’s over a week and no development! He was worried and requested a blood test directly where I was transformed to a general hospital.
There, I remain another in the hospital with the same previous scenario. End-of the week, they requested a “Chest bone-marrow” where I still remember me suffering, screaming and crying from the amount of pain I endured. I kept the next few days have difficulty while breathing. I used to live for 2-weeks in the darkness, like a bat, and any small amount of light hurts me and make me screaming of eye pain. At the end, it turns to be eye-stress since I was passing through college exam days and no “Physician” could identify my disease.
A doctor whispered on my father’s ear saying “your son MUST be transferred to a specialized hospital immediately”. I got a transfer to King Fahd Specialized Hospital in Dammam (KFSH) on 26th, Dec. 2010
Once arrived to KFSH, I got examined and on 27th, Dec. 2010 my room was full of doctors and consultants. I was told that I’ve Precursor B acute Lymphoblastic leukemia. Feeling relieve at least for being diagnosed although I had no idea on the first week of therapy that I’ve “Blood cancer”. I believe this reduced my reaction and made me calm of God’s destiny. The first 3-weeks of treatment were the hardest and most emotional where I lost hair, weight -15 Kg, no appetite for food, and were vomiting after every meal. What made it worse the amount of tablets I had to daily take 55-tables, back spine treatment and restlessness. I was told at the beginning I would be spending 30-days as an in-patient. However on day 22, I was discharged as my condition got better. I couldn’t stop my tears of joy.
During next months of treatment, I was admitted to ICU 2-times due bacterial infection and ups-and-downs which required some extra back spine treatment. I started gaining weight, reduced amount of daily tablets, seeing my friends again and hanging-out. I decided to resume college Sep. 2011. I set 5 main goals to achieve –to make me unique- before graduation.
1. Graduate as an honor student. I graduated as a 3rd honor
2. Being active in volunteer work and society development in-campus and out-campus
3. Take several personal development courses offered in-campus
4. Being first Saudi engineer to complete more than one training. I accomplished this goal with having 3 different trainings with big companies(2-months with Saudi Aramco, 2-months with Saudi Electrical Company, 7-monthes with General Electric Power& Water)
5. Join a Toastmasters club
I proudly achieved all my goals prior graduation
I completed my Chemotherapy treatment on April 2014 and officially became a health and cancer-free person. I would loudly say I’m a survivor warrior.
Those achievements and other factors led me to have a job opportunity with GE Oil& Gas as field service engineer. Now, I’m a happy field engineer who is trying to make a better life for my parents, myself and my society.