As many of you know, I’m a leukemia patient/survivor. I say patient slash survivor because I am still in treatment. I always will be. My disease is chronic (chronic myelogenous leukemia) and I manage it with a pill I take every day. I had to go off that pill while I was pregnant with both Alex and Nora, which was a little risky, but obviously completely worth it.
And so while I may not have survived cancer past tense, I am definitely surviving it. And that is 100 percent due to the amazing drug I take, called Gleevec, and the man who developed it, Brian Druker. Gleevec was FDA approved just six months before I was diagnosed. If I hadn’t been able to take Gleevec, my life with cancer would have been very different. I certainly wouldn’t have two children and there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here at all. A miracle, indeed.
The reason I bring this up now is tomorrow’s Dr. Oz Show (originally it was for today--sorry for the mix up!) is devoted to cancer miracles—and Gleevec and Dr. Druker are being featured. I was at the taping and though I didn’t wind up being interviewed, I got to sit on stage with a bunch of other Gleevec patients (the drug works for many other cancers as well) while Dr. Druker was interviewed. I know Dr. Druker well (he’s the reason I started going all the way to Oregon to see my current amazing doctor, Michael Mauro) and he is an incredible man/doctor/scientist/etc. We chatted for a while in the green room before the show and that was definitely the highlight of the day for me.
Here are the details:
The Dr. Oz Show--here's a teaser!
Wednesday, May 12
11 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST
(check your local listings for Central and Pacific schedules)
As part of the segment, one young girl with CML and her father get to meet Dr. Druker for the first time and let me tell you, it was emotional. As a mother and a CML patient I could barely keep it together. Let’s just hope the camera didn’t catch my sobbing. I haven’t seen the segment yet, but I do know they show a photo montage with a few shots of me so look out for that! And if you scan the bleachers on stage, I’m the redhead with the green top :)
I just thought this would be a nice thing to share with all of you, since my disease and my work with the cancer community are huge parts of who I am. And I think you will find the show incredibly uplifting and inspiring no matter what type of cancer has affected your life (and we’ve all been affected in one way or the other, right?). It reminds us that miracles do happen. I am living proof of that. And I know that I am incredibly lucky. I’m feeling especially so on the heels of Mother’s Day, which I got to spend with my two beautiful babies. Babies I never would have had if it weren't for Dr. Druker and Gleevec.
OK, I hope you’ll watch or DVR—and let me know what you think! And if any of you are CML patients or know CML patients looking to learn more, you can visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or the National CML Society. Both great resources!