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Not Every Story is a Horror Story


By Mollie Kallen

Hello and if you are reading this then you’ve either been diagnosed or have a family member that is dealing with this diagnosis.  Mine was acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and it came completely out of the blue.  Absolutely NO SYMPTOMS whatsoever and I was busy with my life; traveling and working and being a mom to my 15 year-old.  My diagnosis was found through routine bloodwork, which showed low white blood cells (WBC) and even the doctors were incredulous given my presentation. 

Mollie Kallen

I biked 40 minutes the day before I went into the hospital for my initial two rounds of chemo.  After watching me for many weeks, they decided to do a bone marrow biopsy and that was the beginning of a crazy/scary/life changing ride in April of 2023. 

Why I’m writing this is to let you know that not everyone’s story is a horror story; mine went pretty smoothly and I know many others with the same experience.  I’m going to write a book about my transformation as I feel there are so many things that people should know about a transplant that we’re never told or learn except by experiencing it. 

I did what everyone probably does at first – google and boy was that a mistake.  My team told me not to and I didn’t listen and that caused a lot of unnecessary fear. Every case is unique, and every person is different so the internet is NOT your friend.

I then searched to find others who have been through this experience to speak with but that also left me scared and worried.  I spoke to a few people, and it seemed that almost everyone had complications ( which can happen).  I went through lots of chemo and then had a bone marrow transplant in October 2023 and have been doing great ever since!  I’m back to almost all of my normal activities and thankfully no complications.  I have joined to be a coach to help others and spread the word that not all experiences are horrific.  Of course, treatment had its moments and was challenging, but I maintained a great walking routine even when in the hospital and really feel that this was a key to a quicker recovery.  I am happy to speak to anyone about my experience and offer any tips that I can provide.  It can be a scary diagnosis and it’s so important to have a village of friends/family to help you through as well as a good medical team that communicates with you every step of the way.

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