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April 26th, 2012
08:13 AM ET

Human Factor: Doctor's post-cancer life lesson

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week transplant surgeon Dr. Carlos Zayas describes his experience as a patient when he underwent a bone marrow transplant

When I was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in 2009, I was told I had a 10% chance (or less) of survival with a 90% chance of relapse. Needless to say, it was overwhelming.

After 24 rounds of chemo, 18 different drugs, a failed transplant of my own bone marrow and an unsuccessful international search for a perfect bone marrow match, I knew my prognosis didn’t look good - but I decided that my diagnosis didn’t mean I was going to die.

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Filed under: Cancer • Human Factor

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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