My name is Mark Rose. I'm 36 years old and I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia with my girlfriend Sarah. I was diagnosed with TTP in May 2011. It all started for me with weird feelings of dizziness and nausea which I kept writing off as 24 hr bugs. Then at one point it got really bad and my urine actually started turning brown. Within a few days of that starting I went to see my family doctor and she immediately sent me to the ER after seeing a urine sample. I was seen by an excellent ER doctor in the QE2 ER who took some bloodwork and discovered that my platelet count was at just 11,000. I was immediately freaking out because I knew what platelets are and what they do but I knew absolutely nothing about platelet disorders. The ER doc calmed me down and theorized that I had ITP but told me he had consulted with a Hematologist who was shuttling over to see me in the ER. After seeing the Hematologist they gave me platelets and started me on 100mg of Prednisone and had me come in every day that weekend for bloodwork. There was no improvement in my platelet counts that weekend so that Sunday May 22 I was admitted to the hospital for the first time in my life. I was scared out of my mind and the Prednisone certainly wasn't helping with that at that point. The Hematologist confirmed my diagnosis at that point that I didn't have ITP but actually Idiopathic TTP.
I then began receiving plasmapheresis treatments daily. I'm a pretty big guy so each time they would use anywhere from 12-16 units of plasma. In total from May until August I had 59 plasma exchanges. So I literally have HUNDREDS of donors to thank for saving my life. The plasma exchanges would increase my platelet levels but they weren't curing the TTP. I eventually received 4 doses of Rituxan in August and that put the TTP in remission.
Throughout my whole experience I learned a TON about TTP thanks to resources like www.AnsweringTTP.org and also the TTP support group on Facebook. My Hematologist and the nurses in the Apheresis Unit at the QE2 hospital were also very informative and honest with me and answered every single question I had. I can honestly say I feel extremely lucky to have been diagnosed and treated for TTP so quickly. And I can't say enough how much I appreciate the care that I received. Especially from the nurses in the Apheresis Unit. They truly got me through the scariest summer of my life and were always so kind, helpful and friendly to me even on my bad and really crazy days.
As far as the future goes I know there will always be a possibility of me relapsing but I'm ready to beat TTP again ANYTIME.