Andrea Pecor's Personal Profile
Reflections on Living with Aplastic Anemia for 26 Years
This is the most difficult piece of the story for me to relate. I know that aplastic anemia will always be with me. There are many positive ways in which co-existing with this monster has impacted my life. I am reminded daily of what is important in this world: those we love and who love us. I am thankful for things that I might otherwise have taken for granted. But it would be dishonest of me to give the impression that there are not parts of it that make me profoundly sad. I can't help wondering how different my journey might have been had aplastic anemia not been a driving factor in my life decisions. If I hadn't been diagnosed, I might have followed my dream to become an artist and teacher. Had I decided to continue my pregnancy, I would now be the parent of a 20-year old son or daughter. I take full responsibility for every decision I made and I enjoy a good life, with a loving partner who supports me in everything I do and experience. Though I am sure I don't succeed, I try to be as good to him as he is to me. I endeavor to live a life that is full, true to my spirit, and that sustains me. I do not always follow my doctors' orders to the letter. I take great pride in, and care deeply about, what I am able to offer the AA&MDSIF and its patients and families because of my life's experience. Earlier this year I traveled to Bethesda, MD to be evaluated by Dr. Neal Young at the National Institutes of Health. I would qualify for two clinical trials being conducted there once my counts reached "protocol" levels. It is reassuring to know I have options other than ATG to consider for future relapses.
I cannot chart the path that life lays out for me, but I can command the grace with which I walk it.