Patient experiences: Caroline’s story
Meet Caroline, a young adult living with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who received treatment with RYLAZE.
I think sometimes it's easy to take for granted how easy it is just to breathe. But when you can't breathe, living every moment is just so difficult because it's such an essential life function.
I was walking home from a Christmas potluck with my fellow teachers. Crossing the bridge over the street coming back, you have to go up lots of stairs and I all of a sudden just had a breathing attack out of nowhere. I couldn't catch my breath. One of my teachers had to come help me.
So, they decided the next step was because I had fluid not only in my lungs, it was in the sac around my heart, the pericardial sac that they needed to drain it from around there.
When they first looked at my biopsy of the heart area and around the lymph nodes, they could see okay, my lymph nodes were cancerous, they were malignant, and they diagnosed me with lymphoma. When they did a PET scan as well as a bone marrow biopsy to really confirm the extent of my cancer, this is when they figured out that it wasn't just in my lymph nodes, it was also in my bone marrow. And I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma and leukemia.
When I found out I was diagnosed with T-cell ALL, it was very unique because here T-cells are my specialty and I've been diagnosed with this rare form of ALL, and it's, yeah, it was something that I'm familiar with and it helped me to understand what I was going through.
Four months into my diagnosis, I had a reaction to PEG for the first time.
It started with an itchy feeling, and it progressed to kind of my throat closing up.
I don't think I realized how serious it was that I didn't have an alternative.
And at this point, not only is it adversely affecting me, so I can't receive it, but even if I could, my body wouldn't be able to use it in the correct manner, so I need some other drug to achieve the same effect. And this is when we had to figure out what do I do? How can I continue to receive my treatment fully and effectively?
For me, RYLAZE didn't add any noticeable symptoms to what I was currently experiencing from all my other chemos.
Family is what's been keeping me positive through this process. It's been the doctors and my family and it's really what's been keeping me going.
I'm so glad I was able to participate in the trial and receive RYLAZE. It meant all the world to be able to finish my treatment and know that I did everything that I possibly could and with our current knowledge, so that I would be healthy, and you know hopefully not have a relapse. And I was able to do that because of RYLAZE.