|My name is Aldeane Sööt and I am a survivor of MDS through a bone marrow
transplant. My story began in September 2002 at age 52. I felt my life was near
perfect. Our youngest child, one of seven, was engaged to be married the
following year leaving my husband, Peet, and I on our own. I had just finished
watching my grandson on a daily basis, as he was old enough to enter
pre-school. Peet and I could now have more time to ourselves.
It was time for my yearly checkup and I was feeling so fantastic it crossed my
mind not to go, but Peet has always felt that it is a must to keep track of your
health. So I went. My doctor was so pleased with what he saw; he even said he
wished all his patients were as healthy as I was. I had a blood test; the results
were to be sent to me later. I felt on top of the world.
Then the next day the phone rang. My white blood cells were very low and I
needed to go in for another blood draw in case a mistake had been made the first
time. Unfortunately, it was right. I then was sent to a hematologist for further
testing. Eventually a bone marrow aspiration was done and I heard for the first
time about a disease called MDS. I was told a bone marrow transplant was the
only cure, but I could wait for a few months to see what happened before going
to that stage.
After getting all the information from my local doctors, and the Internet, I decided I
needed a second opinion from the best MDS/bone marrow transplant facility I
could find. Luckily I live in Lake Oswego, Oregon a short three-hour drive to
Seattle, Washington, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I was
up there getting my second opinion within three weeks of my first diagnosis. As
you can see I am not a procrastinator, I wanted to be well.
The doctors there agreed that a bone marrow transplant was needed. I
immediately asked my one and only sibling, my sister Dorcas, if she would be
tested to be my donor. She agreed at once and went the next day to have a blood
sample sent to Fred Hutch for HLA testing. My miracle was starting to happen.
She was a perfect match.
My BMT was scheduled for November 27, 2002. To accomplish this, my husband
and I were told to move to Seattle for at least four months. By November 1st we
were in a condo in Seattle with all the needed equipment and files to keep
running our consulting business. Little did we know how intense the transplant
and recovery would be for me and how little time there would be for business or
any other outside activity for Peet, as the caregiver. He lived in my hospital room
the entire time I was there.