My life changed on May 1, 2004 at the age of 60. Before that, I had a fairly normal life – I had been married to my husband Jim for over 40 years, raised two children, worked full time and exercised four days a week. On the morning of May 1, I woke up with red spots all over my arms and legs. I was recovering from pneumonia and on antibiotics. My first thought was that I was having a reaction to the drug, so I called my internist who got me in his office that afternoon. After discussing what was happening, he did a stat blood test and left me in the examining room to check on the results.
A short time later, I heard him outside the door say, “Oh my God.” But he didn’t come right in, so I thought his remark had nothing to do with me. Not so. He had gone down the hall to check with a hematologist in the building. When he came back, he explained what platelets are, got my husband from the waiting room, and sent me down the hall where the hematologist was waiting to do a bone marrow extraction and start an IV. He called ahead to the hospital and sent me on my way.