Min menu


A 37-year-old Woman Woke Up One Morning With Horrible Bruises. What His Doctor Finds Is Terrible

A 37-year-old Woman Woke Up One Morning With Horrible Bruises. What His Doctor Finds Is Terrible

It's always shocking to learn that you have an illness that you have never known existed and endangers your life. It's devastating and it's very difficult to accept. Some people give up, while others choose to fight the disease with all their might, like the case of this woman who discovered that she had acute promyelocytic leukemia.

What is acute promyelocytic leukemia?

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a rare and aggressive form of cancer of the blood. It's a cancer that starts in blood stem cells. Acute leukemia means that the disease progresses rapidly and aggressively, requiring immediate treatment.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia is a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia, the form of the disease that affects myeloid cells. The latter perform a number of different functions, such as combating bacterial infections, defending the body against parasites, and preventing the spread of tissue damage.

In acute promyelocytic leukemia, a change in a specific chromosome leads to changes in the white blood cells called promyelocyte cells, which means that they do not progress to maturity. This leads to a bleeding disorder due to abnormal coagulation.

Symptoms include pale skin, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and weight, frequent infections, and unusual and frequent bleeding such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds and a tendency to bruise.

The main treatment for LPA is chemotherapy, which is used to kill as many leukemia cells as possible in the body and reduce the risk of relapse.

Studies have shown that people with acute promyeloid leukemia, about 85% will live for at least five years with treatment.

The case we are going to present to you, shows how we should never give up on the disease to come out stronger.

A surprise disease

Thea Wilson, from Burwarton, Shropshire, England, woke up one day and was covered with huge bruises all over her body last October.

The 37-year-old was sober all night long so she knew she had not fallen and no one had hit her.

At first, doctors misdiagnosed Thea's bruising as a disorder of platelet function in the blood. But a doctor sent her back to the hospital for a bone marrow biopsy, and when the results were there, Thea was devastated. She was told that she had acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Thea was informed that she was a "medical emergency" and she was taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to begin five months of intensive chemotherapy and all-trans retinoic acid (a form of vitamin A) because her blood did not coagulate properly, which exposed him to the danger of internal bleeding. In addition, she usually received fresh frozen plasma, fibrinogen and platelets to improve the ability of her blood to clot.

Thea, who works in medical sales, said she felt "exhausted" for months, but had no idea she was sick. She also said in an interview that when the doctors told her that she had aggressive leukemia, she did not know what to do, and everything collapsed around her.

A fight that ends with a victory

Miraculously, after six months of treatment, Thea was informed that she was in remission. The news greatly pleased him.

"I was so lucky. If I ran out or had an accident, I could have died. I had no idea that spending the first month was a challenge in itself. "

To celebrate this cancer victory, she raised money for the hematology department at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital that saved her.

Thea still needs to do a test known as bone marrow puncture every 12 weeks for the next three years to check the health of her blood.

There is always a risk of relapse of leukemia, but that does not stop Thea from living her life normally.

Thea's Nurse, Clinical Nurse in Hematology, Bridget Atkins, said Thea has remained incredibly focused and positive throughout her treatment, never allowing cancer to override her.

Thea's attitude inspired many nurses who had the privilege of caring for her. Thea is an example to follow of a person with a strong and combative mind, who faces adversity and turns from negative to positive.