When Manuel was diagnosed with cancerA term for diseases in which cells grow abnormally with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph system., 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 cancerA term for diseases in which cells grow abnormally with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph system., 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.”
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