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Jill O’Brien, from Collerville, Tennessee, was diagnosed with primary myelofibrosis (MF) in June of 2013 at the age of 50. In 2012, a blood clot was discovered in her iliac artery. She was referred to a hematologist and underwent a bone marrow biopsy in June of 2013. That’s when she sought treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center and ultimately ended up received care from Dr. Srdan Verstovsek. In December of 2014, her blood work revealed a change in diagnosis to “masked” polycythemia vera (PV). For most of her life, Jill has experienced a number of unexplained medical issues. She experienced what the doctors thought was Bell’s palsy in her 20s and was diagnosed with vasculitis at age 30. Jill has also dealt with varying degrees of chronic pain and out of range blood counts over the years.
Jill now sees Dr. Verstovsek every 6 months and is monitored closely by her local hematologist. She has a very supportive husband and family, including a daughter and son-in-law that are both in the medical field. Jill’s advice for others is to “listen to your body” and if you aren’t comfortable with the care you are receiving, it’s okay to find a doctor that is a good fit for you.