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Aplastic
Anemia and other Autoimmune Diseases

"Help
Your Body Heal Itself"

Help your doctor
cure a life threatening illness by taking care of your body,
mind and spirit. Develop a Personal
Wellness Plan
and take charge of your Aplastic
Anemia, MDS, Cancer or other Autoimmune Related Disorder.
Book includes free access to
http://aplasticcentral.com.

In this book, you will learn how to:

  • Understand the primary cause of most modern
    illnesses
  • Take the steps necessary to rebalance your immune
    system
  • Eliminate the deadly toxins in your personal
    environment 
  • Investigate and evaluate holistic healing &
    alternative treatments 
  • Understand the role of nutrition in making you
    well 
  • Listen to your body and react to the signals you
    are receiving 
  • Change your "life situation" and achieve
    inner peace

 

 
  

 

"Bruce relates his own story of his battle with
Aplastic Anemia. He successfully describes complex medical
situations in terms easily understandable by a layperson.
Most importantly, he describes his own experiences. It is a
remarkable story with lessons for all who are fortunate to
read the book. Dr. Jeffrey A. Kirshner, MD

"Aplastic Anemia and Autoimmune Diseases is a
must read for both AA patients and caretakers alike. It is a
valuable addition to your arsenal of knowledge for your use
in conquering aplastic anemia." – Marla Brown, AA
Patient & Alternative Medicine Advocate

"It made me cry." Liz Walker, a trusted
friend of the Lande’s

"This is a great example of the potential that
each person possesses who’s willing to take charge of his
health. Bruce has begun to unlock the healing power that God
has programmed into all of our bodies." Sherry A.
Rogers, M.D., ABFP, ABEM, FACAAI, FACN Author of Detoxify or
Die (prestigepublishing.com)

Forward From Doctor Jeffrey A.
Kirshner

    
I remember very clearly my initial meeting with
Bruce Lande in the Emergency Department of Community
General Hospital.  I
was called to see this previously healthy man, who was
found to have pancytopenia (lowering of all his blood
elements).  As
expected, Bruce and his wife were shocked and scared about
the findings, the possible diagnosis and what was in store
for them in the future. I could also sense that I was
dealing with an extremely bright and determined
individual, who was going to do everything in his power to
beat whatever disease we diagnosed.

As the events unfolded, my senses
proved correct. We eventually diagnosed Bruce as having
Aplastic Anemia, a most serious disease that is very
difficult to treat. Conventional treatments are not always
successful. Bruce was an exemplary patient from the
beginning. He really did his “homework”. 
We tried all the usual medical treatments with a
limited amount of success. He required frequent
transfusions of red blood cells and platelets. There were
numerous hospital admissions for treatments and
complications of both the disease and the treatments.
These were very difficult times for Bruce, his family and
his friends.

Bruce’s story is remarkable. He
used his computer skills to set up a Website and do his
own research.  He
interacted with other patients with this relatively rare
disorder. Through the help of his family and friends, he
sought and found complementary and alternative methods of
treatment.  He
never abandoned conventional medical treatment;. he
successfully integrated both traditional and alternative
therapies.  He
never lost his faith and to this day continues to live
relatively successfully with his disease.

Bruce’s blood counts have not
returned to “normal”, but Bruce has. The blood counts
have risen to the point where he is no longer requiring
blood transfusions nor hospitalizations. 
It is unclear to me how much of a role each
modality has played in the improvement of his condition.
In reality, it doesn’t matter at this point, as Bruce
continues on with traditional and complementary medicine
and his strong faith. As Bruce’s physician, I am
challenged to integrate all these modalities. 
It has been a learning experience for all of us and
I feel fortunate to take care of such a remarkable
individual.

In this book, Bruce relates his own
story of his battle with Aplastic Anemia. He successfully
describes complex medical situations in terms easily
understandable by a layperson. Most importantly, he
describes his own experiences. It is a remarkable story
with lessons for all who are fortunate to read the book.

Jeffrey J. Kirshner, M.D.

Foreword

We all know about diseases
such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. 
For decades, countless books and articles have been written
documenting research and hypotheses for dealing with these common
diseases, for which a quick search on the Internet will reveal thousands
of hits.  Yet, in October of
1999, when I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia (AA), there were far fewer
links on the Internet providing information on aplastic anemia. The amount
of medical articles in the field of hematology available to the public on
the subject of aplastic anemia was scant. 

How was I to survive this
disease or even make intelligent decisions regarding treatment when so
little information was available?  No
friends, family or acquaintances had even heard of aplastic anemia. 
Even my own hematologist said, "I’ll get back to you after I
look up the treatment protocol for aplastic anemia." 
What kind of a disease was this so that my doctor had to "look
up" the treatment?  Is it
that uncommon?  As days
passed, I continued to be more and more perplexed with tests and test
results.  What did all these
tests mean?

Like other patients, only
through hours of searching and reading was I able to piece together the
information I needed to understand my condition and my options.  Doctors gave some answers to my many questions, but I felt
that they were as confused as I was. How much easier it would have been if
all the information had been in one place! 

In 2001, I discovered Bruce
Lande’s website, http://www.aplasticcentral.com/. 
As his website grew, it filled a tremendous void. 
Bruce’s talent and obsession made it possible to track his
progress, communicate with other AA patients, and follow analysis of
medical and non-medical methods for dealing with this mysterious and
devastating disease. 

It is incredible how he was
able to keep up with it all and also cope with our mutual condition. Bruce
utilized his computer knowledge to reach out and unite other AA patients
suffering in obscurity.  He
searched for AA patients throughout the world via the Internet to share
information and support for AA.  His
efforts resulted in Aplastic Anemia Central, the largest, most informed
Internet site for AA patients to learn and network together
. 
Through many thousands of hours of research, Bruce compiled
anything and everything he could find pertaining to AA and has made it
available, completely free, to anyone in need. 

Bruce’s book, Aplastic Anemia and Autoimmune Diseases, is truly a public service
to those of us searching for a quick guide to AA and other autoimmune
diseases.  In his (300+#)
page, information-filled book, he discusses medical research, statistics,
treatment options, and his own powerful personal experience. He delves
into the physical aspects of AA and divulges his emotional defeats and
triumphs.

In addition to cataloging
the currently available medical research and treatments for AA, Bruce has
included a section dedicated to various alternative methods of treatment.
Treatments discussed include natural, non-toxic approaches to dealing with
AA and other degenerative diseases. He has found natural treatment to be
effective with his aplastic anemia.  He
explains and draws analogies to bodily functions to help readers
understand. 

Lastly, Aplastic Anemia and Autoimmune Diseases is a tribute to all the
family, friends, and caretakers of AA sufferers.  The experiences he shares regarding the care he was given is
a reflection of the experiences of all of us who suffer from AA, both
patients, and family and friends.  We
have family members, friends, and caretakers who also spent countless,
emotionally filled hours helping us cope and survive our disease. 
You will feel his trying personal struggle, but you will also laugh
with his great sense of humor. 

If you or a loved one has
suffered from AA, then I trust that Bruce shares experiences that reflect
your own.  His story gives a
glimpse of not only the turmoil endured by the patients, but of the
struggles endured by closest caretakers and supporters. 
Aplastic Anemia and
Autoimmune Diseases
is a must read for both AA patients and caretakers
alike.  It is a valuable
addition to your arsenal of knowledge for your use in conquering aplastic
anemia. 

Marla Brown,

California, 2003

VSAA 10/99.

Chapter 1


Triage



A Visit to the ER

"Hello Bruce, my name is Dr. Jeff Kirshner and I will be taking
care of you while you are in the hospital. We already know that you have a
serious blood disorder – It may or may not be leukemia. 
If you want to hope for something, hope it is Leukemia because we
know how to treat Leukemia today.  It
is not as serious a disease as it was in Brian Piccolo’s day.

Right now our job is to get you through the night and we will nail down
the diagnosis tomorrow.  You
are in desperate need of blood and platelets and the Syracuse Blood Bank
is out of your blood type.  We
are waiting for your transfusions to come from Rochester and there is a
very real risk they may be closing the Thruway because of the blizzard.
"

Say again! 
Was he talking to me? And what was this about not making it through
the night?  Having driven the
New York State Thruway in a white out, I knew what it could be like. 
I was desperately looking around for some help. My wife Sue was
looking at me with the same look she had on her face when our beloved
Tasha died in her arms.

Melissa’s look was not
much better.  She was the
youngest of our three daughters and my partner in our computer business.
What was happening here?  Hey,
wait just a minute – being sick was not part of my plan. 
There was a business to run and somebody had to be in Albany
tomorrow to finish an installation.

My mind was in overdrive –
Why exactly would one wish for Leukemia of all things! 
Leukemia kills people.   I
had never been sick more than a day or two in my life. 
Surrounded by my wife and one of our three daughters in a cramped
triage room at Community General Hospital, I began to worry about how they
would cope with me gone. 
For the first time in my life, my own mortality seemed very real; sure it
would happen some day – but in my 80’s, not in my 50’s. 

I didn’t know if I was in
heaven or hell, but something was definitely not right!  I am the picture of health! 
What was I doing here?  Wow,
this must be serious, Sue called Fred and Melanie and they arrived within
24 hours. "Hi Dad, how are you feeling?" asked Melissa, my
partner in the web business. How was I feeling! 
Like I had been run over by a freight train and left for dead!  What in the world just happened to me?   

My Dad died at 54 and my
mother at 63 so I had at least considered the possibility of a premature
death.  But Dad was a three
pack a day smoker and I had recently endured a colonoscopy to head off the
colon cancer that prematurely claimed my mother.

Dad had Hodgkin’s
disease in his 30’s back before chemotherapy and he once told me how
painful a Bone Marrow Biopsy was back then. My first biopsy to determine a
proper diagnosis and prognosis was scheduled for the next day.

What happens after
tonight? Will there even be a tomorrow? My life now depended on a courier
delivering a life saving parcel from Rochester – normally only an hour
away and it had already been over two hours.   
Strangely enough, there was very little fear of death. 
There was more concern over what would happen to Sue and our
family. 

 
* * * * *

This concern for others
had not always been part of my personal agenda. 
Over thirty years ago on an equally snowy day in Central New York,
Sue and I were married in a quaint little country church in Lafayette, NY.

We had only known each
other since July of the same year, but she stole my heart from the very
beginning.  She declined two
of my proposals before finally relenting. From that moment on, my life as
a self-centered teen-ager came to an end. 

A short time later, we
were living “on the economy” in the Cold War divided city of Berlin,
Germany.   Our lives
quickly changed from that of blissful newly-weds to young, frightened
parents in a strange far-away land when Sue gave birth to the first of our
three daughters. Until then, responsibility had been only a vague term to
me. I suddenly found myself the breadwinner for our budding little family
of three.

My thoughts were bouncing
back and forth between previous life altering events and my present
predicament so fast I could barely keep things straight in my own mind. 
I returned to that cold winter night in Berlin when our oldest
daughter, Michelle was born. The Air Force offered virtually no support to
married enlisted men back then.  Busses
and the U-bahn subway were our only means of transportation, so a
neighbor’s car became our maternity transport. 

That was the first time I
remember being in a hospital.  Now,
nearly thirty years to the day later, frantic calls were going out to
Michelle and Melanie, our middle daughter. 
Melissa lives close by and was at her Mother’s side as the doctor
delivered his frightening news.

My mind flashed to another
frantic event in the Pediatric Emergency Unit of the Upstate Medical
Center. Our middle daughter Melanie was strapped to a “papoose board”. 
She had been locked in this position for several hours and was in a
full state of panic.  Her boy friend, Adam was a year older and apparently had been
taken to the regular Emergency Room. 
Melanie was crying because she was sure that Adam was dead. 
The last she had seen him, he was unconscious, bleeding from his
head in his parent’s demolished car. 

* * * * *

I returned to the present
and wondered who would take care of our little family. 
They are all grown now and on their own, but once you become a
father, your concerns never really go away. Melissa and Sue are heavily
dependent on the website development business I had started after working
for a major corporation the last ten years. 

We had invested well over
$100,000 of our savings to start the business and our net worth had
plummeted with the drop in tech stocks and the recession-mired economy. 
Right now, however, we seemed to have a more pressing problem on
our hands than whether or not the DOW would recover. 
My illness and the prospect of a premature death had now taken
center stage in our lives. 

* * * * *

The courier completed his
life saving trip from Rochester to Syracuse in the middle of what was
hailed the "Storm of the Century". 
The New York State Thruway had been closed but the driver somehow
managed to make the normally one hour drive in just under three hours in
time to save my life. 

He arrived at 2:15 AM on
January 10, 2001 and the first of many life-saving transfusions was
administered.  He delivered
one unit of platelets and two units of packed red blood cells. At the time
of my admission, my platelet count was just under 3,000, white blood cell
count was 1,500 and my hemoglobin was 9. 
The normal counts for an average sized adult male are 300,000 for
platelets, 6,000 for white blood cells and 15 for hemoglobin.

I later learned that even
a small cut could have resulted in my death since the platelets were so
few in number. Such a small number of platelets would have been unable to
stop any significant bleeding and I would have literally bled to death
while waiting for help. 

Platelets are the
components in our blood responsible for clotting. Red blood cells deliver
oxygen from the heart to the other organs of the body and return the
carbon dioxide to our heart for recycling. A normal adult has ten pints of
blood that circulate around the body in blood vessels that if fully
stretched could circle the earth two and one half times.

The Bone Marrow produces
between four and five billion Red Blood Cells or “Erythrocytes” per
hour and they last an average of four months. 
The marrow produces White Blood Cells or “Lymphocytes” which
fight infection, Platelets or “Thrombocytes” that aid in clotting and
Plasma, which is the water and protein component of the blood.

In addition to the
concerns of blood loss and platelets, I began to understand why my stamina
had been so low for so long.  It
was a significant effort to walk up a small flight of stairs because my
blood stream was unable to deliver the oxygen necessary to nourish my leg
muscles.

About two weeks prior I
had experienced a "fainting spell" in which my whole left side
went numb. At the time, I was carrying boxes up and down a long flight of
stairs in a dusty old warehouse in Batavia, NY. 
It was a struggle, as I had to stop and grab the wall for support
about every seven steps.  It
was a major sign of something seriously amiss with my health that I should
have acted on.

The building had
forty-foot high ceilings and smelled as though it had been a cold storage
warehouse in one of its previous lives. 
It was now home to ARAmatic Refreshment Services, one of our best
customers.  Fulfilling a
promise to Art Darrow, the owner, I was determined to get this, the fourth
of its four New York branches online before the end of the year.

Computers had been at the
center of my life long before most of the world knew input from output. 
The first system I ever touched literally filled a room. 
It was an IBM 360 with the unbelievable capacity of 64 kilobytes of
memory!  We fed these funny little punch cards into a tray that
gobbled them up, sometimes quite literally so that you always wanted to
have an extra deck of JCL – Job Control Language 
– available as your back up.

The machine would then
sputter and lights would flash and in an awesome display of power, it
would re-calculate the amount of money 1000’s of bank customers owed the
bank. A process that today could be done on my laptop in a matter of
seconds took most of an eight-hour shift.

I began my “real” work
life as a computer operator and then graduated to selling computers for a
now defunct company called Digital Equipment. 
Computers like the one we sold for nearly one million dollars in
the eighties are now available at your local Radio Shack for just under
six hundred American dollars and they’ll probably throw in a web cam so
you can have a live videoconference with your grandchildren. 

* * * * *

Cover
Jacket Notes

I didn’t know if I was in
heaven or hell, but something was definitely not right!  I am the picture of health! 
What am I doing here
?”  Wow,
this must be serious, Sue called Fred and Melanie and they arrived within
24 hours. "Hi Dad, how are you feeling?" asked Melissa
our youngest, and a partner in the web business. How was I feeling! 
Like I had been run over by a freight train and left for dead! 
What in the world just happened to me?   

The doctor took one look
at me and said, "Something is seriously wrong, we don’t know what
it is yet, look at your hand next to mine."
 
He rolled his palm up next to mine and I finally saw what everyone
had been talking about.  His
palm was a healthy pink and mine was a grayish yellow. 

“I nicknamed myself
the Rabbit Man while being transfused with Rabbit Serum designed to
suppress my immune system.  This
was supposed to allow my platelets and other vital blood cells the
opportunity to grow normally.  I
had been diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a rare blood disorder that occurs
when the bone marrow stops making enough healthy blood cells.”

"Our hematologist
seems to think our daughter may have AA but has not diagnosed her yet. 
She has a bone marrow test on Friday morning. 
I have been reading up since he talked to us this morning to try
and educate myself.  Our
doctor mentioned this is a worst-case scenario so I am a little interested
as to what that means.  He
would not go into specifics with us today because he wants to see all the
tests.  Her hemoglobin was at
2.1 last night so they rushed her to PICU. 
It all has happened so fast.  I
am praying often and will continue researching. 
My daughter is 2 months old so the doctor is very confused as she
is very young.  I would like
to get on a mailing list for news about this disease and also any advice
or good questions to ask the doctors would be appreciated. 
Thanks."


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