Thursday, December 12, 2013

Childhood Bone Marrow Transplant Survivors & Premature Death

I should start out by explaining that my greatest frustration with cancer stems from the number of amazing lives that it has claimed- both young and old.  I have lost friends, hospital-mates, relatives, and patients. As a cancer survivor, I feel guilty when I am anything other than completely thankful that I am alive (classic survivorship guilt); thus, I often do not harp on the plethora of issues that survivors face.  However, I'm heading down that road with this post...

'Beating cancer' isn't like graduating from a university.  There is no point during a battle with cancer that is analogous to walking the stage and receiving your diploma - there is no official end to cancer.  You can finish treatment, you can be in remission for 1, 5, or 20 years, but there is never a time when you can say that you're done with cancer...

I received a hematopoietic cell transplant (better known as a bone marrow transplant) in 1996 for pediatric AML.  Thus, when I came across the below article, I felt the need to share.  Why?  Not because I'm complaining about my survivorship status or because I'm hoping for a pitty party... I am sharing this because it is important understand where we are with cancer treatment.

We cannot measure success solely based on the number of patients who survive the treatment or the number of patients that are alive 5 years later.  We need to strive for cancer treatments that won't compromise morbidity and at the very least, understand that despite the cancer-free parties, it is entirely possible that a battle is still being fought.  

For the original, go to:

No comments:

Post a Comment