Andi Malitz was diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia (ET) at the age of 46. During an annual checkup, it was discovered that her platelet count was close to 800,000. While Andi was symptomatic, she wrote it off as a side effect of a surgery she had close to the same time as being diagnosed. After seeing the same hematologist for the first 11 years of her diagnosis and still not feeling her disease was under control, experiencing extreme fatigue, mouth sores and anemia, Andi attended a Patient Power MPN town meeting in Chicago. At that point, she realized she needed to take her journey into her own hands and play a more active role in her care and quality of life. She began seeing MPN specialist Dr. Brady Stein and feels she is getting much better care, communicating with Dr. Stein on a regular basis through the portal and having monthly CBCs. In her spare time, Andi enjoys spending time with family, including her partner, John, and at her second home in the country in Michigan.
Update June 2019: Now that she is retired, she is on ACA (Affordabel Cart Act) but Northwestern is not on that and impacted her ability to see Dr. Stein. She and Dr. Stein worked together to handpick his successor, Dr. Jason Kaplan at North Shore Cancer Center. Andi feels good except that her platelets are high and is experiencing increased inflammation and sweating (not just night sweats). She is also dealing with nerve damage from a surgery on her Achilles heel (not MPN related). She does blood tests every three weeks; she and Dr. Kaplan might adjust her dose of hydroxyurea (Hydrea). In her spare time, Andi enjoys spending time with family, volunteering and traveling.