Sheryl Brommet, living with CML

You can plan for retirement, but the plans don’t always work out as anticipated. Sheryl Brommet knows that all too well. She and her husband decided to retire and travel in April 2006. On the day they were scheduled to leave, they learned their granddaughter, Alexis, then 18 months old, had been diagnosed with cancer. Soon after, Sheryl started losing weight and had a blood test during the same time her granddaughter was having a bone marrow transplant.

The result for Sheryl was a diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a blood cancer. She started receiving treatment, at the same hospital where her granddaughter was having radiation therapy. “We were each other’s support system.”

“Engage in life. Don’t take it for granted. Cherish the love and support of your family and friends.”

Sheryl responded well to her therapy, but with difficult side effects. In 2009, she stopped responding to her therapy but has been able to switch to a newer one and has done very well, with few side effects. She says that the disease is so well controlled and managed today that it makes it easier to live with CML. Long-term plans include travel, a new home, more time with grandchildren and a return to school to finish her degree.

Sheryl is a member of the CML Society, which has helped her learn a lot about her disease, and her oncologist is also very helpful in responding to questions. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” she advises, “because people are out there. Engage in life. Don’t take it for granted. Although being diagnosed with CML was a life-altering challenge, I do try to count my blessings. Above all, cherish the love and support of your family and friends.”

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