Sandra Johnson

Sandra Johnson

Patient Advocate

Sandra Johnson was diagnosed with polycythemia vera (PV) in 2002 at the age of 50 through a routine physical. She was referred to a local oncologist, and—although she was taking baby aspirin—her platelet count continued to rise.  After her oncologist recommended a bone marrow biopsy, a friend told her to visit MD Anderson Cancer Center. When she met with Dr. Verstovsek in 2006, she was still in watch and wait and being monitored closely. In 2013, during a wellness exam, her blood counts were all off of the chart, so she had another bone marrow biopsy.  Sandra started phlebotomy treatments and maintained a baby aspirin regimen to control her counts.   When her platelet count skyrocketed in 2015, she was prescribed hydroxyurea. Working with her doctors, it took a few months to get the right dosage, but now Sandra is feeling great.  She has some symptoms such as headaches, itching and forgetfulness, but they are managed well. Sandra lives in Galveston, Texas, volunteers for a number of organizations, and is very physically active—she finished her first triathlon this year.  

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Page last updated on October 15, 2015