Six Years and Counting: Love, Leukemia, and the Long Road Onward

A bone marrow transplant and beyond: an American healthcare odyssey

Having rebuilt his life after a painful divorce, Peter was on top of the world. Recently remarried, a thriving career, living in a beautiful mountain resort, at the peak of fitness and health – life was looking up again. Suddenly an aggressive case of acute leukemia seized his body and turned his world upside down. His only hope for survival was a bone marrow transplant, and at his age the outlook wasn’t good…

In this gripping chronicle, Peter Gordon describes the initial shock of his diagnosis, the ensuing upheaval, the anxious wait for a matching donor, the long hospitalization for the transplant itself, and the surprisingly difficult road afterward. And that’s just part of the story. His wife suffers a debilitating injury, suddenly tossing the couple into intertwined roles of patient and caregiver. For several years they struggle through one challenge after another, helping each other along the way.

Based in part on a blog he kept, Peter’s story provides a riveting, “in the moment” view of a regular guy and his wife grappling with cancer and its many offshoots. Don’t expect a sugar-coated fairy tale; this is as real-life as it gets. He shares razor sharp observations, moments of deep introspection, and the wide emotional swings of their journey: from stressful and gut-wrenching, to humorous, heartwarming, and poignant.

Along with his physical ups and downs, Peter vividly describes the way long-term health challenges inevitably entangle with so many of life’s other issues. With the Great Recession and the national healthcare debate as a backdrop, you’ll step into the shoes of an American couple dealing with the stress of insurance coverage and pre-existing conditions, career and financial challenges, aging parents, and the baffling complexity of our medical system. Amidst their journey, you’ll see many examples of human nature at its best, and occasionally at its worst.

Toward the end of the book, Peter looks back and packages together various lessons he and his wife have learned during their journey. Cancer patients, their partners, and caregivers will find this a valuable resource. In particular, the section called “Many Medicines Besides Drugs” is filled with thought-provoking ideas for communicating, coping, and making it through. Some may surprise you.

“Six Years and Counting” is also a must-read for medical professionals, especially those who work with blood cancers like Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). It’s a textbook case study of a stem cell transplant and its many after-effects, particularly graft vs. host disease, as seen from the patient’s eyes. The section called “Doctoring: The Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent” offers no-holds-barred feedback to doctors and medical staff, as does the chapter “A Tale of Two Hospitals.”

“Six Years and Counting” is an American healthcare saga for our times. It will certainly resonate with anyone touched by cancer or other health challenges. But it will appeal to many other readers too, as it’s far more than a medical narrative. It’s also a touching story about loss, recovery, relationships, and the human spirit… a soul-baring voyage of self-discovery… and an inspiring tale of resilience and love.

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Gene Technology: Stem Cell and Leukemia Research (Nato ASI Subseries H:)

The 11 th meeting in “Modern Trends in Human Leukemia” took place from June 19 to 21, 1994 in Wilsede in the middle of the Liineburger Heide, South of Hamburg. Interwoven with the Leukemia program was the Nato-sponsored Symposium of the ASI-Series “Gene Technology in Analysis of Malignant and Inherited Human Diseases Related to Development” . The Wilsede meeting was continued on a ship of the Neva leading through lake Ladoga and lake Onega. The topics of both meetings included discussion on recent progress isolation and development of hematopoietic stem cells, genes crucial for development and diseases, methods of gene transfer, application of gene transfer; oncogenes and anti-oncogenes as targets for gene therapy; receptors and their ligands in normal development and diseases, immunology and immunotherapy, radiation biology, clinical leukemias and bone marrow transplantation. The Nato workshop concentrated not only on analysis of cell systems useful for somatic gene therapy, but also on actual themes directly related to correction of human diseases. The latter aspects emphasized themes related to biotechnology, the first part was by nature more general. We also included a few contributions that discussed perspectives for the future of gene therapy and possible relationships to evolution.

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  • Used Book in Good Condition

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