Medical History

I was diagnosed on July 7, 1998, after breaking my pelvis on June 30th at Lindbergh Field, San Diego's podunk airport. I stepped up on the curb only to find myself instantly face-down on the sidewalk. The pain was excruciating. I waved away a couple of men who wanted to help me get up. After a minute I surrendered, motioning them back.

The trip from the courtesy bus to my car was difficult, but I didn't have the sense to call an ambulance. Somehow I managed to get in my car and drive home.

To this day I can't imagine how I managed to climb the stairs to my bedroom.

The next week I went to the orthopedic surgeon most-recommended by the nurses, who looked at my x-rays and said, "Holy shit! This is beyond me." Then I was on my way to William Bowman, who was at that time and probably still is the best cancer surgeon in San Diego. He is the old-fashioned line-backer type orthopod who, if he needs to re-break your femur, can easily do so with his bare hands. As we looked at the x-rays, I was thinking osteosarcoma. Thank heavens I was wrong.

[In 2005, seven years later, I was going to have my autologous bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, I had a MRSA infection in my lower left tibia from a motorcycle accident in 2003. It refused to heal. I feared that the infection might kill me during the transplant. So I asked Bowman if he could pretend that the infection was cancer and cut out all of the tissue that looked suspicious? He thought for a moment and said he could. Afterward I had no more trouble with MRSA].

[To Be Continued....]