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Blood and Marrow Transplant Program

Patient and Family Education

Patient Success Stories

Leukemia Survivor Sylvia Stetz is "Forever Grateful" for the Excellent Care She Received at UMGCC

Sylvia Stetz

Sylvia Stetz

In December 2004, Sylvia Stetz visited her doctor to receive treatment for pneumonia. Her condition rapidly deteriorated, causing her doctor to send her to the hospital for evaluation. After performing a bone marrow test, doctors at Easton Memorial Hospital diagnosed Sylvia with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She was immediately transported to the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center for treatment. Read more about her story below.

My story started on December 9, 2004 when my primary care doctor diagnosed me with pneumonia. While I was taking medication to treat the pneumonia, my leg started to hurt. It became so painful my husband couldn't even touch it. I returned to the doctor's office on December 15, 2004. By the time I arrived, I was having difficulty breathing. My doctor immediately had me transported to Easton Memorial Hospital.

Doctors there performed a number of tests, including a bone marrow test. Test results confirmed I had a blood clot -- also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) -- in my left leg, and a diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

After the diagnosis, doctors immediately made arrangements for me to be transported to the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. I arrived at UMGCC on December 18. I was admitted by Dr. Aaron Rapoport and was treated by Dr. Myer Heyman, who worked alongside Dr. Ivana Gojo of the cancer center's Hematologic Malignancies Program.

Before I could begin treatment for the leukemia, doctors had to get my body ready to receive chemotherapy. I was still suffering from pneumonia, and the blood clot in my leg also had to be addressed. Once those conditions were resolved, I gave my consent to begin four rounds of chemotherapy.

UMGCC was my home for almost one year. From December 2004, until October 2005, I alternated one month in the cancer center for treatment and one month at home with my family. I had my bone marrow test in June 2006; the results showed no evidence of leukemia in my body.

If you happen to find yourself in a situation like mine, rest assured knowing that UMGCC is the best place for you to be. Everyone there serves with a caring heart, a smile on their face and life to their step.

I often ask myself, how do you say thank you to someone who has helped you get through a trial in your life -- especially when there are people to thank whom you'll never meet, such as the folks in the lab and the folks in the kitchen? Everyone who works at UMGCC plays an important role, from the housekeeper keeping my room clean to the hostess bringing me three meals each day. Every job is important! The techs were there to hold my hand during bone marrow tests; the nurses were there when I needed someone to listen; and everyone was there to pray with and for me when I needed spiritual guidance. The doctors were caring and listened to me. They really went the extra mile to ease my mind. You just couldn't ask for more.

So, how do you say thanks? I try to show my appreciation by revisiting the cancer center from time to time to say "Hello" and "Thank You" to the staff and to encourage the other patients. Looking back, I know that God put every single one of them in my life for a reason, and I'm forever grateful. I salute each and every one of them.

For more information about the Hematologic Malignancies Program at UMGCC, or about any of our other programs or services, please call 1-800-888-8823 or speak to our New Patient Referral Coordinator at 410-328-7904.


This page was last updated on: June 15, 2010.


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