Meet Al

Crittenton Physicians Treat and Care for You Like a Person

After an emergency appendectomy at Crittenton in September 2005, Al Michalec thought any worries about his health were behind him. During a routine follow up visit after his surgery with his Crittenton physician, Al was stunned to learn that his lymph nodes were enlarged. He was referred to specialists and underwent a series of tests. Just weeks after his appendectomy, Al was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. “It was shocking, because I hadn’t noticed any swelling and assumed my fatigue was just part of recovering from surgery.”

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Though this cancer is slow to progress, over time patients have difficulty fighting infection, develop anemia or bleed too easily. Without detection, the leukemia may cause bone marrow failure or transform into an aggressive form of lymphoma.

Al credits his Crittenton physician with identifying the signs so early and encouraging him to seek the care of specialists. “Before this experience, I took a wait-and-see approach to my health. Now I know early detection gives more opportunities for treatment and a greater chance of recovery.” Following months of treatment, tests showed that Al’s cancer was in full remission. Now, eight years later, Al is grateful for his good health.

“Being treated as a person, not just one of thousands of patients, made a huge difference for me. Crittenton didn’t dismiss any symptom, pain or potential problem. I know they value my health as much as I do, and that is why Crittenton will always be my hospital and my family continues to support the Crittenton Foundation to ensure quality healthcare for future generations.”

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