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Inspirational Stories

Steve

acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Daytona Beach Shores, FL

I was diagnosed with stage 4 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2015. It is not known if Humira (a drug I was prescribed) caused it or just blew up the AML. On the night of diagnosis, I was told the hospital I was in could not treat me, and I would be transferred in the morning. About the time my wife returned home, she received a call that I had taken a turn for the worse and was being transferred immediately. During this time, we decided to use humor during interactions with all medical personnel from there on out. After seeing hundreds of medical folks, only one didn't laugh, chuckle, or guffaw in the six years since!

It took four days in the ICU to get me stable enough to begin induction chemo. During the 30-day hospital stay, I was told I had about a 15% chance of survival in six months. They recommended what they called the "Gold Standard" of care. I asked for a second opinion and went to MD Anderson in Houston. They recommended a FLAG-Ida treatment which damaged my heart. Dr. Takahashi at MD Anderson is great and saved my life.

Humor and a positive attitude also were key factors. Medical professionals see people at the worst of times and in the most pain. Humor shows that you have the strength and tenacity to WIN. It also shows that you are willing to give of yourself to brighten someone else's day. Trust me, they will remember you, and the quality of care you receive will be their best effort! The human spirit is strong, use it to be positive, lift up others, and WIN!

SG