Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Mercedes' story

Mercedes' video for blog

‌I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on May 1, 2013. Prior to my diagnosis, I was a very active wife and mother of a four-year-old and an 11-month-old. I was a gym rat who attended exercise classes and lifted weights several times a week. I looked forward to going to the gym because it was time to myself.

All of a sudden I didn’t want to do anything and I had absolutely zero energy. I kept going back and forth to the doctor several times over a two-month period explaining what was happening to me. I was told that I had allergies or that I had the flu. On my final visit to the doctor, a student doctor suggested he take my blood. I received a call at 2:15 a.m. the following morning from a nurse. She asked how I was feeling and told me that my hemoglobin count was three. She advised me to get to the ER immediately. Once in the ER, they ran a bunch of tests and finally one test smear came back indicating that I had leukemia. I was transported to VCU Massey Cancer Center the next day. I would not return to my home for 38 days. I received four rounds of chemotherapy and recently had a bone marrow transplant. At this point, I’m in remission, and although it has been a long road, I know that I’m in good hands at Massey.

My perspective on life has changed greatly since being diagnosed. I’ve learned that life is short and you must live every day to the fullest. I now realize that I can’t control everything and that patience is a virtue. My friends and family are my life, and surrounding myself with them has made this journey easier to navigate.

-Mercedes

Written by: Alaina Schneider

Posted on: December 9, 2013

Category: Clinical news