For me, life started in 1970. It was back in Taipei, Taiwan, and in 1974, my brother Ted, was born there as well. We engaged in kid type stuff until 1977, when we moved to bright and sunny California. This basically means that even though I was born in Taiwan; Im pretty much a Californian. My mom has a funny story she likes to tell: I came home crying from school one day (this is within the first 2 weeks of school), and she asks me why I was crying? I answered because my translator wasnt at school today, and I didn't understand She was shocked! She couldnt figure out why they provided a translator for me, when she knew I had to learn English well, she took away my translator. I learned English in 2 months time.
The schools I remember going to were Glazier Elementary, Norwalk High, Kennedy High, and the Long Beach State. I think I learned a lot. I rushed a fraternity when I got into college, and it was Tau Kappa Epislon. I did quite a bit in college: I was AS Senator 2 years in a row, I was IFC President, and I had a variety of offices within TKE. After graduation, I started working for a medical supply company, which got bought, and got bought again, and finally got bought again. The final company that I worked for was PSS or Physician Sales and Service. I worked from San Diego, up thru Fresno, then in Las Vegas, and back to Los Angeles. I was finally in Orange County, the place where I grew up my whole life.
Unfortunately, when I was 29, I was diagnosed with Leukemia. I thought I had the flu! I had a doctor friend write a prescription for me (antibodies), but it didnt work. I ended up throwing up blood, and my brother took me to the hospital (where I couldnt even walk). I was in ICU for about a week; while they gave me blood/platelets and told me I had APL (acute promyelocytic leukemia). My dad then transferred me over to UCI, and Dr. Ho. Dr. Ho was a funny guy. I needed to get 3 chemotherapy treatments, but before I even started my first treatment, my head hemorrhaged and they said I had a 1% chance of survival. Well, someones watching over me, because I survived. Although I was paralyzed on my right side for 3 months, my family nursed me back to normal. Then I went through the chemotherapy treatments. One week of chemo, then three weeks of throwing up. After THREE times of this long treatment, I was A-OKAY. I thought I was cured. So it was maybe 9 months from when I first got it, and I went back to work! I worked for about 6 months, and wham! I was diagnosed with Leukemia again. I went back to UCI, they did another chemo session, and WHAM! I caught Candida (fungus) of my spleen, liver, and lungs. According to them, I had a 0% chance of survival. Well, like I said before, someone is watching out over me, because I survived this as well! Dr. Ho told me I needed to be transferred to the City of Hope, because they do unrelated transplants. My brother only matched 1 out of 6 HLA genes. Dr. Ho said wed be lucky to find one person who matched because I was Asian. So when I went to the City of Hope and got tested, they were really surprised. There were 63 people who matched me here in the U.S., and 267 around the world. Generic Bone Marrow! Now if you guys dont know, most people are lucky to find one, many dont and die.
The year was 2001, and I met Dr. Stein. I didnt like him at first, because he would be really cautious in giving out medications. But after everything, hes my favorite doctor! He really watches out for you. I got my bone marrow transplant, and again, I threw up for 32 days. Then I came down with Graft vs. Host disease (everyone who gets a transplant gets GvH disease). Luckily, it only affected my face, and most of my upper body. Medications
theyre good, but bad. With all the different medications I was taking, I was bound to have side effects. I had my gall bladder taken out. I was in the hospital for negative-rods in my blood. I had 3 different Hickmans and a cool looking porta-cath put into my chest (they're all catethers, so they dont have to poke your arms). I had major problems with my eyes, and had to get cataract surgery as well as a drug put into my right eye. I was then back in the hospital for positive-rods in my blood. I had to get both hips replaced. These are just SOME of the things I went through.
I know there isnt a cure for my disease, but the City of Hope and Dr. Stein are doing a great job trying!
Then, in 2004, I get a call from Lisa, a gal I knew back in 1996. We talked, and I had her fly out in October. We met, and it was love at first sight! There has not been a woman who has loved me regardless of my condition. Shes just wonderful. She came out a few more times in 2005, and I went back to Milwaukee in July 2005, and we packed her up, and drove back through Route 66, to California. Shes been living here ever since!