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From Diagnosis to Advocacy: My Path to Becoming a CML Patient Leader

People often ask me how I became an advocate for myself and other CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) patients. I often ask myself the same question. Before my CML diagnosis, it was not unusual for me to question my doctors, or to research medical jargon and diseases, but I never shared my opinions or views publicly. When I was first diagnosed with CML, I was hospitalized, and extremely ill. My diagnosis came as a shock to me, and to everyone who knew me. The common response was, “But you have always been the healthy one!” And I was, and gratefully still am “healthy”.  As expected the phone calls came in droves. I was too sick to speak to everyone and conserved my energy to assure my kids and immediate family, that I was OK, leaving the other calls to my husband. Hearing him repeat the same information over, and over, and over was exhausting to both him and me. That, coupled with the fact that I knew very little about CML, left everyone waiting for more information. Once I was relea

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