Bill Schultz

First post: Nov 4, 2009 Latest post: Oct 24, 2017
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It has now been 21 months since my Stem Cell transplant.  Next month I will receive a Kidney from my daughter Andrea.  So much has happened these last 6 years since I was first diagnosed with Cancer that I find myself rather stunned that it might actually be coming to an end.  You couldn't help but know there is a God if you too went through what I have.  I have received more "breaks" than anyone can count.  To find a donor and be the recipient of a Stem Cell transplant is one "long-shot", but then to be able to recieve a 2nd transplant in less than 2yrs is more than luck - it is the hand of God directing my life.  Believe me when I say I am humbled.

So now it's on to one more procedure....and then the rest of my life!

Where does one start when describing "your story"?  Well, my name is Bill Schultz and I am going to receive a stem cell transplant at MD Anderson November 13th.  I have cancer, lymphoma to be exact.

Four years ago I went in for a physical because I was exhausted all the  time, developing bruises on my arms and legs for no reason, and had lymph nodes all over my body that were growing like crazy.  The day after my exam the doctor called me and said I needed to check into St. Lukes Hospital immediately because my white blood count was off the charts - signifying I had leukemia or some form of blood cancer.  The diagnosis ended up being Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).

After 6 chemo treatments - spread over 6 months - the cancer went into remission for 22 months.  Unfortunately it came back in early '08 as lymphoma, so they set me up again with another 6 chemo treatments over 6 months.  This time the cancer stayed in remission for only 4 months.  In December '08 my lymphoma came back as strong as ever.  My St. Lukes oncologist recommended I try MD Anderson to see if they had any protocol that could arrest this cancer.

The odds of finding an exact match to allow for a stem cell transplant are extremely low.  My 4 brothers and 1 sister were not a match to me (still need to talk to my Mother & Father about that!), so MD Anderson had to go to the National Donor Bank in hopes of finding a match.  My wife Pam, brother George, sister Rosemary, and even my employer Envoy Mortgage, Ltd. all directed donor drives on my behalf and added a large number of new donors to the National Donor Bank.

In August I received possibly the best phone call I have ever gotten - MD Anderson called and let me know they had found a 28 year old male who was a complete match to me and willing to be a donor.  Talk about being Blessed!

So now I am scheduled to check into MD Anderson on November 6th and receive the stem cell transplant November 13th (my brother Mike's birthday!).  I will be in the hospital 3-4 weeks following the transplant, and then 70 days in an apartment close to MD Anderson in order to receive daily out-patient treatment.

What a journey this past 4 years has been.  It is hard to put into words how emotional & humbling it is to know that people - some I may never know or meet - are praying to God to intercede on my behalf.  To know that my name has been added to prayer groups all over the country asking for the Lords blessing and healing power to touch my life.  To experience the uplifting power of cards & emails from friends, family, and perfect strangers.  It all leaves me speechless. 

I never thought I would have to deal with something like cancer in my life.  But I'll be honest with you - I do not feel sad or like a victim - I actually feel very lucky and blessed.  Though certainly it would not bother me if I did not have cancer, I can tell you because of what I have seen and gone through these last 4 years I have a deeper faith in & love of God, a stronger appreciation for the love & support of family and friends in my life, and an overpowering feeling of gratitude for every day I am alive.  These things I would not trade.  Knowing what I know and feel today, I would not take another path if given a choice. 

Bill Schultz   

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