Patients are also peopleBMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1806 (Published 01 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i1806
- Jacob Adashek, patient and graduate medical student
- Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, 309 East Second Street, Pomona, CA 91786, USA
Surviving acute myeloid leukemia and a bone marrow transplant at age 19 isn’t something most people do. In fact, it’s something that only 50% of people with my diagnosis and age do.1
After almost four years of living through this, my hair is much thinner and I weigh 60 pounds [27 kg] less. I’m more sensitive to sounds, tastes, and temperatures. But inside I’m still Jake. My character and sense of humor are the same. And my dreams of making a contribution and becoming a physician remain.
Different from my peers
After diagnosis I felt uneasy, different from my peers. I lived with an undefined fear. But what was I so afraid of? I spoke effortlessly about my experiences to lecture halls filled with medical students. I talked to groups of strangers to raise awareness and …