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Book Title

Stay Strong; One woman’s Journey through Leukemia, a Bone Marrow Transplant and Life

Victoria B Haney

Word Count



80,000 - 100,000


What's it all about?

Vicky was a vibrant, energetic, intelligent professional woman who was waiting for the birth of her first baby. Life was good and she knew it. She worked hard to stay fit during her pregnancy so she could “bounce back” from the birth. Being healthy had been one of the driving forces throughout her life, until the day came when her daughter was born. After the birth, she was blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby and a diagnosis of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML.)
Her life is saved by a bone marrow transplant. But the future she dreamed of never came true. Follow her life through her crushing treatment, long recovery, watching her daughter grow and the many many side effects she dealt with for years following her tranplant. Learn about the amazing way she dealt with the horrors of chemo and the transplant and celebrate the small steps in recovery and throughout her life.


At some point during the early morning another doctor came into my room. Dr. Berg introduced him (“oh boy, another doctor!”) as a hematologist. I remember his name was Dr. Mayer… something. I asked my obstetrician if this problem could be associated with pregnancy, if it was some rare, temporary malady. He looked at me, then looked away and said “yes, it could be.” In my current state, that was good enough for me. I didn’t ask anything else. I only wanted to hear that this was temporary, I didn’t want to think about what my subconscious was trying to tell me.
Dr. Mayernik (known by me as Dr. Mayer… something) was a young Hematologist specializing in Oncology (or was it the other way around), came and did a bone marrow biopsy in the middle of the night. He said it might hurt a little and described the procedure briefly. They were going to take a small plug of bone and marrow out of my hip bone and do some tests on it. I don’t think he realized how incoherent I was at the time with the morphine and lack of sleep. I would have put up with anything at that point. He took out a large needle, told me to lay on my stomach and proceeded to push and pound on my lower back. Much to my surprise, it didn’t hurt at all! I had so much morphine in me and I was so sleepy that a Mack truck wouldn’t have hurt.
The doctor left with his treasured sample and I fell back to sleep for a few more hours, but still with my hourly interruptions from the nurses.
At about 8AM on Sunday, Feb 9th, I was moved to my private room near Erin’s nursery and I got to sleep for a few hours without the ominous thermometer probe every hour. Dan returned to the hospital room but I couldn’t keep my eyes open to visit, so he spent some time with Erin and went back home.
Soon after Dan left, Dr. Berg came into my room. He said that Dr. Mayernik (oh that was his name) had run the tests on my bone marrow and they showed advanced leukemia. This time, he looked right into my eyes.
“…………………………” I thought. My mind was totally blank. I didn’t cry just then, I just looked at him, open mouthed. There wasn’t any of the terror you see in the movies when someone receives news like that. There was only the inability to respond, then came an almost suffocating feeling.
I knew since the night before, somewhere in the back of my mind, that it was true. The thought had just never been presented to my conscious mind yet.

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