When Manuel was diagnosed with cancer, he had never been sick before. “It started with a routine X-ray. My doctor saw something and sent me for a lot of tests. They discovered I had a very large tumor – and it was malignant. My whole world came crashing down.”
When it rains, it pours
Then Manuel developed a blood clot during his chemotherapyChemotherapy (also known as chemo) is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or several drugs in combination. treatment. He started having pain in his leg, but he paid it little mind. Instead of making a doctor’s appointment straightaway, he decided to wait until his next check-up. “I didn’t think it was important,” he said. “I was already dealing with cancer, a little sporadic pain in my leg didn’t seem important. But that was a mistake.”
Manuel’s clot specialists took an X-ray and a CATCancer Associated Thrombosis (CAT) refers to blood clots (thrombosis) linked to / derived from cancer or cancer treatment. scan and determined he had a blood clot in his lung. “I thought, ‘When it rains, it pours.’”
Adjusting to injections
His doctor prescribed an injection treatment and Manuel had never heard of this before. “When my doctor said I needed to take a daily shot in my stomach, I was a little freaked out. But I thought, ‘What can you do? You gotta do what you gotta do.’”
Manuel doesn’t like needles so his wife administered the shots. “My wife is a saint. She made sure I got my shot everyday – even though I would try to trick her,” Manuel smirks again. “I’d say, ‘No, you already gave me my shot today!’ But I didn’t get away with it. I’m grateful she took such good care of me.”
Talking with others
When Manuel found out he had thrombosisThrombosis refers to abnormal, life-threatening blood clots that form in the artery or vein., he did not think it was a serious illness. After talking about it with different people he found out how common it was. “Suddenly you hear so many stories about people who have had it and have suffered greatly. I’m thankful my clot was sent to my lung and not my brain – and that it could be treated with the medication. But I found it really helpful to talk to others who’ve experienced blood clots.”
The 6-month treatment worked. “I think it went well and that I triumphed. At the beginning I was so scared and reluctant to take the shots. But I thought, ‘If my life is in danger and I can save it, then I need to do it.’ And it all worked out great.”
Read more articles
Knowing how your treatment affects your body is vital
By the time most patients learn about blood clots, it feels too late. Don’t wait, stay proactive. You can start your learning here.
Minimizing your fears and worries during cancer treatment
Cancer treatment is not risk-free. Learn how pia and manuel became aware of their risk of blood clots during cancer treatment.
Some patients find blood clots worse than the cancer itself
Get the right help. Being diagnosed with cancer-related thrombosis may spark a wide range of feelings. Getting the right advice and care may help you deal with the turmoil.
Blood clots are not uncommon for cancer patients
It is almost like a secret among cancer patients. Thrombosis, is an all-too-real risk for many with cancer, especially those with lung and colorectal cancer. Almost 1 in 4 lung cancer patients die from a blood clot in the lung. Learn more facts about this little-known fact among cancer patients.