Inked in tattoos from neck to knuckle, Kevion Lyman rose from his bunk at dawn, pulled scrubs over his skinny frame, stepped out of his cell and set out for work. The 27-year-old strolled down the long central hallway connecting the different wings of the prison, past the dining hall, the solitary-confinement unit for violent offenders and the psych ward. Pushing open the big steel doors, he reported for his morning shift in the hospice. Cont
At the age of 28, my patient was already a war-weary veteran of leukemia.
When his cancer was diagnosed, we treated him with a multi-drug cocktail of chemotherapy over months, first with more intensive regimens that sidelined him from being able to work, and then with milder medicines.
His leukemia came raging back, though, so we treated him again, this time with one of the new, expensive immunotherapies that has been approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration. These are not curative, but in his case eliminated enough of the leukemia to enable him to receive a bone-marrow transplant, which did have the potential of curing him. cont