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Victoria’s Story


April 8, 2013 We recently learned from Victoria’s husband Andy that “Victoria went to meet our Lord” on Friday, April 5, 2013. The Lazarex staff wishes the family love and courage as they mourn their loss and celebrate the life they shared together. Victoria lived in New York with her husband Andy with their two children.

Your help has been a blessing on so many levels by giving me the independence to get to my necessary appointments, the financial peace, your warm reception and support when we call your office. We feel we are part of the Lazarex community and that is why Andy was so enthusiastic and motivated to represent Lazarex in the ING NYC Marathon. We believe that when you do something with the right intention you are supported. We are thrilled and so appreciative of the support our friends and family have given us throughout this journey and, now, for the marathon.

According to my doctors it will take up to a year (possibly longer) to rebuild my immune system following this transplant. It will be a year on September 22, 2012. There are no words to describe our appreciation for Lazarex’s support through this journey…it is the key in recovery for my whole body.

A week after a routine visit to my internist to monitor my thyroid levels I got a call from the office referring me to a hematologist. The nurse merely said the doctor wanted me to see a hematologist and gave me the name of two doctors in my area. I got an appointment on April 20th, which was about a month away. I did not feel an urgency to go sooner since I had no major symptoms except for some fatigue and felt that was easily explained by my long hours of work as a chiropractor and teacher as well as having 2 children, a husband and home.

When I saw the hematologist in April she tested a sample of my blood and then reported that the results indicated leukemia. My jaw dropped, I could not believe it! She said a bone marrow test would verify the diagnosis. I had it done in her office that day. She called me a few days later to say that there was definitely a malignant condition in my bone marrow. I had some form of leukemia so she referred me to a specialist in blood diseases at a local university hospital.

The following week I saw the specialist who determined that I had MDS (a form of pre-leukemia) that could transform anytime into AML (acute myeloid leukemia). Either way it was imperative I receive a bone marrow transplant and undergo chemotherapy. In the meantime I saw 6 different oncologists in a quest to prove them wrong. I could not believe that I had this diagnosis. Unfortunately they all said the same thing.

In a last attempt to find some other reason for these abnormal blood results I saw my dentist about a mouth sore that a month later had not healed. My dentist x-rayed and referred me to an oral surgeon who did a biopsy. The leukemic cells in my bone marrow had migrated to my mouth. This was viewed as a metastasis and is treated as if the MDS transformed into AML.

The following Monday, June 3rd, I was admitted to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to begin induction therapy and intensive chemotherapy. After another round of chemotherapy I had my stem cell transplant on September 22, 2011.