Our beloved Marleen was taken from us by an aggressive form of Leukemia known as Acute Myeloid Leukemia which is essentially blood cancer.
She had no hereditary traces of the disease nor did we ever think she was prone to it. Alas, we lost her to it after a brief battle. She fought it as she’d never fought anything before. She was brave till she took her last breath.
She would have wanted people to be better prepared and so this page is a start. If you come away from this knowing a bit more about Leukemia, Marleen’s memory will be preserved.
We would like to thank all the doctors that took such expert and careful care of Marleen.
We will forever be grateful for the days you gave us with her.
What is AML?
Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a malignant disease of the bone marrow in which hematopoietic precursors are arrested in an early stage of development.
Most AML subtypes are distinguished from other related blood disorders by the presence of more than 20% blasts in the bone marrow.
Click here to read more about AML on Medscape.
Early Detection & Indicators
Timing is Crucial
For most types of cancer, determining the stage (extent) of the cancer is very important. The stage is based on the size of the main tumor and how far the cancer has spread. This can be helpful in predicting a person’s outlook and deciding on treatment.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), on the other hand, does not usually form tumors. It generally is widespread throughout the bone marrow and, in some cases, has spread to other organs, such as the liver and spleen. Therefore AML is not staged like most other cancers. The outlook for a person with AML depends instead on other information, such as the subtype of AML (determined by lab tests), the patient’s age, and other lab test results.
In 2015, AML affected about one million people and resulted in 147,000 deaths globally. It most commonly occurs in older adults. Males are affected more often than females. The five-year survival rate is about 35% in people under 60 years old and 10% in people over 60 years old.
source: Wikipedia (AML)
How You Can Help
For starters, donate blood if you can.
Marleen had over 50 people donate blood for her as she fought.
Here are some great ways to help:
Be a champion for your loved one
Learn about infection risk
Monitor the PICC line
Help manage chemotherapy side effects
Encourage physical activity
Plan ahead for hospital stays
Continue to monitor this page not only to keep her in your memory but to find out how to help preserve her legacy.