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An exciting, aromatic and floral fragrance with notes of lychee, freesia with a base of amber,
jasmine and musk. A cheerful and empowering scent that makes you feel that life is
extraordinary. Like a miracle in a time of need.
Maria is a part of a small family in a small village named Wurst. They live a religious life serving
their God every day. They leave sacrifices and little offerings on the altar outside of their house
as a sign of belief in their God. They believe that failing to do so will lead into some kind of
disaster. One day, the village was raided by bandits. The village people fought with each other
to protect their home. They successfully defeated the bandits but Maria’s father was badly
injured in the fight. The doctors say that he has a slim chance of waking up again. Maria’s family
did not believe in what the doctors said. They started praying and continued giving offerings to
their God. After a few days, Maria’s father woke up feeling well and stronger than before. The
doctors could not believe what they saw and was bewildered by what happened. Maria then
believed that it was not the doctors that cured her father but their God who cured her father
through a miracle.
Ribbon Color:Periwinkle: Esophageal Cancer
In January of 1995, I went to my internist with what I thought were gallbladder symptoms. She
sent my blood to the lab for testing. At the lab they were unable to read the results. She took
another test; the results also turned out to be unreadable. She talked about my case to a
hematology colleague who thought he had an answer.
On February 9, 1995, I had a bone marrow biopsy. When I came out of the sedative, the
hematologist informed me that I had Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and I should rethink
my life plans. At this time, WM had a five-year prognosis. I then went to the Johns Hopkins
Hospital in Baltimore for a second opinion. Hopkins had a bone marrow transplant center and
the hematologist there suggested I “upload all my risk factors and go for a transplant.” At this
time, I was on watch-and-wait and bone marrow transplants had a very high mortality rate and
their utility for WM was questionable. After a discussion with my hematologist, I decided
against the transplant. I also adopted a dog as a life-affirming decision, and he was a good
companion during the treatment times.
I was given Arnold Smokler’s name as someone who had WM and had researched it. Arnie was
getting a support group together, so I attended a couple of those at his home. There were
probably 4 to 5 of us in the beginning. Arnie had compiled a wealth of information on WM and
it was good to know I was not alone. Later Arnie and his wife moved to Florida, and Sarasota
became the center for WM information.
Watch-and-wait ended in 1999, when I was treated with cladribine (2CdA). I was in remission
until summer 2004, when I had four sessions of Rituxan. That remission lasted until May of
2010, when I again had four sessions of Rituxan.
During these past 17 years I have been active with my work (at Envision EMI) as the curriculum
director designing simulations for elementary through college students and as the Dean of
Academic Affairs involved with accreditation. I traveled to various cities in the United States
giving presentations and also abroad to Mexico, Jamaica, and Ireland, enjoying vacations. I plan
to travel again this year. While I officially “retired” in January, 2011, I just signed a new
consulting contract, good until 2014, for my company and am keeping busy at it.
Now I am faced with being treated once more for WM. I may seek a second opinion for the best
combination of drugs, as well as discussing them with my hematologist-oncologist who has
treated me for 17 years. Life with WM goes on. I also adopted another dog this month. –
1oz, 2oz, 4oz