In May of 1986, after two bone marrow tests, I was diagnosed with Acute Mylogenous Leukemia. The Doctor at Oshawa Hospital said that I had a malignancy and that I was going to die. However he recommended that I see Dr. Michael Baker at Toronto General Hospital.

I went to see Dr. Baker who is an excellent physician and he ran a number of more significant tests to confirm my diagnosis before treating me. He admitted me for treatment in May, 1986 and after six weeks I was in remission and discharged. During my treatments he recommended that I see Dr. Armand Keating for possibly being a candidate for a new procedure that Dr. Keating was researching.

Dr. Keating visited me and I was told that I was a good candidate for an ABMT if I remained in remission for approx. a year. Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant which uses your own marrow instead of a donor. I did not realize at the time that this amazing Doctor would be the one that saved my life. Dr. Keating removed bone marrow from my hip joint in July of 1987.

In August, 1987 I was admitted as the 16th patient for my ABMT procedure. Treatment began with chemo-therapy and eventually taken to Princess Margaret for Total Body Radiation which destroys all fast growing cells in your body, including your Immune System. During treatment and afterwards I required approx. 54 pints of blood/platlets. While all of this was going on the various tests that I was given were all over the charts. The Drs. thought I was having a reaction to my medicines and they were stopped but that didn’t fix the problem. Then it was thought that I had a Virus which at that time couldn’t be proven, but later it became evident that I had Hep-C from one of the transfusions.

I’m sure it was difficult for Dr. Keating and staff as well as it was for me. For me it was a life or death struggle. It was difficult for my husband, Ron, who was at the hospital every day, driving from Oshawa. I had shingles, fever after fever and lost my hearing twice. Ron fixed the hearing problem by connecting a lamp to the phone which flashed when it was ringing and arranged for a phone for Deaf persons. I had nausea, a strong reaction and could not stand the smell of food, coffee, etc. Therefore I lost a considerable amount of weight.

I always give thanks to Dr. Keating and his amazing staff, as well as the amazing nursing staff who we still see on our yearly excursion to Princess Margaret. Special thanks to Dr. Rubinger (deceased) and Dr. Jack Hilton and others, who rode the ups and downs along with me.

In January, 1988, I was released after five long months. There was still much work to be done and there were many, many followup visits, on my road to recovery. Though I struggled I knew that Dr. Keating and all of the staff were with me, as well as my husband, Ron, my daughter, my sister and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

I am forever grateful that I was able to exist and receive three knee replacements, a hip replacement and a few attempts at curing the Hep.-C with Dr. J. Feld of Toronto General Hospital.

I thank God that this was all possible because of Dr. Baker, Dr. Keating, his staff and the hospital staff.

To complicate matters, would you believe that there were two Bouckley’s on the floor, both with Leukemia. There was a very, very large sign at the nurses station that pointed out there were two Bouckley’s on the floor.