Leslie Schwartz, M.D., is a psychiatrist at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. He had a matched unrelated (allogeneic) donor bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson in November 2005. He and his wife, Peggy, live in Juno Beach, Fla.
I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in December 2000. I felt healthy at that time and started a series of chemotherapy treatments at an academic medical center near my home in New Jersey. Multiple chemotherapy regimens over the next four years failed to put me into remission, in New Jersey and in Florida, where I moved in 2001. I eventually became very ill and needed lung surgery.
In the summer of 2005, I was referred to Dr. Issa Khouri and his bone marrow transplant team at MD Anderson. I had my transplant just before Thanksgiving, and the rest is history. I'll never forget the excellent, compassionate treatment I received from Dr. Khouri, the nurses and the other members of my team.
It’s been almost eight years. Because of the treatment I received at MD Anderson, along with my wonderful wife’s support and encouragement, I’ve been able to continue in full-time practice and to attend the weddings of three children and the births of five grandchildren.
I also want to acknowledge and thank my donor, Jeff, who lives on Long Island, N.Y. He was a perfect match. We meet once or twice a year, and he’s become my adopted nephew.
MD Anderson is the place to go for the best possible cancer treatment. Thanks to the wonderful staff, and especially Dr. Khouri, who gave me back my health.
Promise invites cancer survivors to share their reflections. Email Promise@mdanderson.org.