Vichea's Battle With Leukemia

The next Be The Match "swab" drive will be held at the Community College of Rhode Island. My daughter, Deena Dang, who is part of the Angel Faces Organization will be representing for the Asian community of Rhode Island. The Angel Faces organization's mission is to raise awareness within the Asian communities of the dire need of bone marrow donors. 

 My account of what took place during that devastating day.  Something no one would ever be prepared for...

A few weeks prior to the cancer diagnose, I recall my husband mentioning to me that he was not feeling well. We both thought nothing of it and brushed it off.  

On February 16, 2015, the day seemed like any other day.  He went out and shoveled snow left over from the couple of storms that has been hitting Rhode Island. He would normally go several rounds without any problems whatsoever. He's a twenty-year old athletic kind of guy. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing. So we thought. 

Within a couple of minutes into his shoveling attempt, he encountered a slew of symptoms quickly moving in on him. He sat down on a pile of snow, while his shoveling partner (our elder brother-in-law) continued with no issues. 

- Shortness of breath
- Violent Coughing
- Sharp Stabbing Head Ache
- Weakness 
-Chest Pain

Moments later he came inside our home. He managed to climb a flight of stairs (13 steps) up to our bedroom. As soon as he made his way in, he threw himself onto the bed. He was breathing heavily and rapidly as if he was going into labor. My first impression was, "Really?"
Is it that intense? So, I sarcastically said to him, "Hey are you pushing out a baby or something?" Hmm...maybe we should go to the ER. I thought what the heck is going on with this guy. Is he faking or what? 

Since he has not been feeling well several weeks prior to the incident. I did nag him to be seen. He refused and continued with business as usual.  Now, he was really acting up. He was finally pushing to go to the ER. My initial response was a little bratty but he was adamant about going, so I followed. We got into the car. He drove like normal and even dropped me off in front of the ER entrance while he went and searched for parking. 

Once we checked in, we waited about 20 minutes. They called us in and did a vitals check on him. His temperature was 103. His heart was racing uncontrollably. That pretty much explained the warmth and night sweats he was having. I didn't really mind his body temperature as it kept me warm during the cold winter nights. However, I did mention to him that he was burning hot and his heart was racing. He still said he was fine at the time. Anyhow, they drew his blood, gave him some tylenol, and sent us back to the waiting room. 

Approximately thirty minutes later, we were called back in. His blood work came back and the results were not good. His WBC (White Blood Cell) count was skyrocketing while his RBC (Red Blood Cell) and Platelets were depleting. 

-Normal WBC 10k
His WBC was 200k

-Normal RBC 14
His RBC was only 4

They brought us to the back to a room to wait for further results. We waited a couple of hours. The doctor finally came back and casually said "You have cancer."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I literally leaped out of my seat and looked around. I just knew he had the wrong guy. Maybe it's the guy next door. I was totally freaking out. My husband on the other hand, was calm. He looked at me like I needed to calm down. I don't think it sinked in for him yet. 

The doctor says, "Yes, you have a cancer in the bone marrow called Leukemia." I was in disbelief hoping it was a misdiagnose. I went into a panic attack. I was shaking and balling my eyes out hugging him. We hugged each other and cried. I lightly wept while he was sobbing profusely. I realized he's going to start to lose it. I knew I had to snap out of it soon and soon meant right there and then. 

Every single doctor or nurse that came by to talk to us, I would ask them if they were positive it's Leukemia. I really wanted to read whatever results they had myself just to be certain. At that point, they kind of kept to their story and AML it is. 

-His first diagnose was Acute Myeloid Leukemia. 
-He is severely Anemic
-He was being admitted for inpatient treatment.

During our wait time, I aggressively did my google research on "AML." My husband just layed there probably in shock or disbelief. I really couldn't comprehend why. I probably should not have said what I said to him, but I did. I said "You have cancer." And asked him if he was aware of the reality of the dilema we were in. Anyhow that was DAY 1.

If you'd prefer to send a check please send me a message. 

Thank you in advance for reading. Your time & support is greatly appreciated by our entire gang of friends & family.


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Cheaa Prom 
Lexington, NC
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