Gleevec has been a miracle drug for people with CML. CML is a slow-moving leukemia, as opposed to AML, which is what I had. My doctor put me on Gleevec to see if it would help with my chronic skin and liver issues, something my donor gives me in exchange for keeping my blood cancer-free.
I started Gleevec in early April. Five hours after taking the first dose, I woke up with extreme bone pain in my pelvis and legs. 1000 mg of Tylenol helped, but I didn't sleep much. This pain comes and goes in different bones of my lower body. I can manage it, usually.
Water retention has been nasty. I take 40 mg. of Lasix every other day. At this point, it barely makes a dent. My hands are puffy; my arms thick and hard. I weigh myself every day. Today I was just under 140 lbs. My "normal" weight is around 130.
My gums have been tender and I've had a few mild mouth sores, which means Gleevec is suppressing my immune system.
I hope the drug is helping my liver enzymes. Since Saturday, I've had extreme bone pain in my right leg. I thought it was shin splints because I'd walked a lot all day in improper shoes. But it was only the one leg, and only hurt when I walked. Yesterday it was so painful (8 on a scale of 1-10), that I broke down and took 5 mg of Oxycodone. That was after the icing and 1000 mg of Tylenol failed to put a dent in the pain.
In 20 minutes the pain was gone. I could cook and walk the dog and get from one room to the next without wincing. But I can't live this way.I don't dare go jogging. I can probably take a yoga class.
We'll see what my doctor thinks in 2 weeks. I will have been on Gleevec for 11 weeks. These side effects are a lot to pay if there's no improvement in my liver numbers. My skin is as bad as it was, even more itchy.