“I thought it was just the common cold,” says Scott Rogers of Oakville, who began to feel unwell in November 2015. “A couple of weeks passed and I still didn’t feel any better. Then I started experiencing chest pains.”
Scott visited his family doctor, who sent him to the local hospital for blood tests. Shortly after his blood was taken, a shocking diagnosis was delivered.
“I was floored when they said it was blood cancer,” Scott recalls. “I was expecting to hear that I had low iron or something like that.”
When a bone marrow biopsy revealed the cancer to be acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an aggressive blood cancer, Scott was transferred to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre (JHCC). Chemotherapy was initiated under the care of Dr. Kylie Lepic in an effort to clear his blood of cancerous cells.
“I spent Christmas and New Year’s in the hospital,” says Scott. “It was a difficult time, but it was great having my family visit. They gave me strength.”
Scott was discharged on January 6, but he would not be home for long. A biopsy revealed that the treatment had been unsuccessful in fighting the cancer. After a week at home, he returned to the hospital for another 28 days of chemotherapy.
“My stem cell transplant saved my life.”
Meanwhile, the search for a compatible stem cell donor began. Luckily they did not have to look far, as Scott’s older brother proved to be a match. The stem cell transplant took place on April 15.
“I’d lost my mom Jane to colorectal cancer in 2007,” he explains. “I was surprised to learn that the nurse conducting the transplant was also named Jane. It was cool having a “Jane” with me for such a critical time.”
Scott went home on May 3 and slowly regained his strength and stamina. He returns to JHCC every six weeks for blood work. At present, Scott is cancer-free.
“My stem cell transplant saved my life. The doctors, nurses and all the staff were phenomenal. Thanks to everything they did for me, I’m back on the golf course, I’m able to play with my kids and I can look forward to a brighter tomorrow with my family.”
Tomorrow Stems From You™ is a campaign to enable the expansion of a dedicated and specialized clinical space, and to purchase essential equipment, so that JHCC can provide 50 per cent more cancer patients with potentially life-saving stem cell transplants. Donate today at hamiltonhealth.ca/stems.