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Letter: Reader Responds to Article on Bone Marrow Disease

(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the story Facing and Fighting Bone Marrow Disease that appeared on the front page of the Healthy Living Digest this month.)

I read with interest the article in the November 2010 Healthy Living section “Facing and Fighting Bone Marrow Disease (MDS).” As a recent bone marrow transplant recipient at MSKCC, I can sympathize with Mrs. Haim and her family about the apprehension and planning that goes with this procedure.

Firstly, I must say that the transplant doctors (mine was Dr. Hugo Castro-Malaspina) are probably the best in the country. I, too, had a year of chemotherapy (at LIJ), but this only slowed the process of the disease.

At a meeting at Sloan Kettering in March 2009, my four brothers and a sister were tested for possible donorship; they all matched, but not to me. They found a donor in three months, and I received my transplant in July 2009.

While it was a long struggle with the various chemotherapies and medications, I was discharged in five weeks. I had lost 90 lbs. and acquired drug-induced diabetes, along with some other problems. The staff at MSKCC was very helpful in the follow-up treatments, including psychological support.

By May of this year, bone marrow aspirations showed I was in remission, and the outlook is excellent. My point of all this is that Mrs. Haim will be in the best of care with the team of transplant specialists at MSKCC, and her outcome should be fine. Get well soon, Eve!                                           

Eric Goldschrafe, Farmingdale resident