Topol: I recently had a chance to read your amazing book, Chasing My Cure.It is quite a story. Let’s go back to 2010 when you picked up that something wasn’t right about your health, after having been the picture of health: bench-pressing 375 pounds — friends called you The Beast. But then something went off the track. Maybe we could start at that point.
Fajgenbaum: I was a healthy, third-year medical student, never had any health problems in my whole life. And then out of nowhere, I started feeling more tired than ever before. You remember during training — we were sort of always tired, right? In that context, what is feeling more tired than ever before? But it felt different. Then I noticed some lumps and bumps in my neck, which turned out to be enlarged lymph nodes. I noticed fluid pooling around my ankles, which seemed unusual, and this horrible abdominal pain. It got worse and worse over the course of a couple of weeks. I was on an ob/gyn rotation. I went from taking my medical school exam for ob/gyn to walking down the hall to the emergency department.