MSK Journey, 2017
Back into Darkness
And then in 2017, I had a recurrence.
Our son, Andy, was able to find a leading neuro-oncologist at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, who advised that the best and most aggressive course of action to avoid future recurrence would be to have an autologous stem cell transplant.
This wonderful man, Dr. Christian Grommes, had faith in me, even though it would be quite an aggressive treatment for someone my age. He said that it was going to be “harsh”—but he knew I could do it.
Indeed, it was harsh. For the entire month, I was in isolation in one room in the hospital in New York City. It took all the strength and fortitude that I could muster. I persevered, followed what the doctors told me to do each day -and now can happily report that the stem cell transplant worked. After my last MRI, in June 2021, Dr. Grommes reported that I didn’t have to return for another year. That was cause for a champagne celebration!
Now I am back “in the light “and plan to stay there, living my life to the fullest.
I am extremely grateful to my doctors: Dr. Grommes, Dr.Shah, Dr. Cho, Dr. Scordo and the many nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, music therapists, physical therapists who cared for me with great empathy and kindness.
To my dear husband, Burt, who visited me every day in the hospital, I owe deep gratitude and enduring love. To Andy our son, who visited me in NYC whenever he could from Florida and brought me cheer and black and white Cookies, I will never forget your love, kindness and generosity.
To Joy Van Skiver, a generous, and dear friend who wrote to me every day, while I was in the hospital . You made such a difference!