Alyse Booth's Personal Profile
Introduction Entering a Trial
Campath Trial: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week 2
Introduction (2008-2009)
I was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in October 2008 at the age of 64. The first time I met with Dr. Gail Roboz, director of leukemia at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, my platelets were 20,000. On November 7, with platelets around 10,000, I was admitted to NY Presbyterian for treatment with horse ATG. My red counts did not require transfusions and my neutrophils were high. I was in the hospital for eight days (six days of treatment) and had many reactions including sweating, extreme nausea and low blood pressure.
After going home, I developed a fever and serum sickness, which caused a horrendously painful and itchy rash all over my body. I was readmitted to the hospital and given high doses of prednisone intravenously for four days. Although the rash went away, I stayed on steroids for a month, slowly reducing the dose, and then began cyclosporine at the end of December 2008.
The treatment was highly successful but with a price. Within two months of treatment, my platelet count was 140,000. With the exception of one or two platelet transfusions when I was an inpatient, I never had to have a transfusion. However, for two months I experienced nausea and an endoscopy revealed a fungus in my esophagus. With medication, the fungus went away in about ten days. Still, I felt weak and ill for at least five months. I continued taking cyclosporine and my counts kept rising. As Dr. Roboz advised, I slowly reduced the dose. My blood counts were normal and stable so after 13 months she told me to stop all cyclosporine.
Alyse Booth and Steve Lefkowitz
Alyse Booth and her husband Steve Lefkowitz in France, shortly before her diagnosis
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