David Winfrey | CaringBridge

David Winfrey

First post: Nov 11, 2018 Latest post: Nov 22, 2018
Let’s get everyone up to date: Back in the spring of 2018, David noticed that his running times were getting slower. In March he was scheduled to run the Asheville marathon but did not due to Mary Marcia being sick. In April, David ran the local Derby Festival Half Marathon. As David’s running times got slower he decided to go the doctor. The doctor found that David was anemic. With no apparent reason for the anemia, the first thought was to check David for bleeding ulcers, which has occured in several generations of his family. David went through a series of test including a colonoscopy, endoscopy and GI camera pill. We now have pretty pictures of David’s insides which showed nothing wrong.  With the anemia and fatigue getting worse and some pain starting, David was sent to a hematologist. 

That doctor ordered lots of blood work as well as a CT scan. The CT scan showed a mass in his chest behind his sternum. We found this information out at the beginning of September. Since then it has been a whirlwind of doctors appointments, a PET scan, a needle biopsy of the tumor, a bone marrow biopsy, a full biopsy of the tumor that required a 5 day hospital stay and the placement of a port.

David has been diagnosed with Primary Mediastinal Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. In layman’s terms that means David has a large tumor behind his sternum.  When the tumor was  diagnosed it was 13 cm long (5 in), 6cm wide (2.4 in) and 5 cm (2in) deep and  attached to the right lung, the heart, wrapped around the major blood vessels and the left clavicle. The only option for treatment is chemo. Radiation has been ruled out because of the proximity to David’s heart. This type of cancer is highly treatable. Because the cancer is aggressive, the appropriate chemo treatment is six rounds of in-patient chemo every three weeks. The in-patient chemo is a continuous 96-hour infusion, plus pre- and post- chemo drugs,.

David checked in to the hospital on 10/8 to for his first cycle of chemo. He was hooked up Monday morning through Saturday morning. David was able to work almost everyday while in the hospital. He came home on 10/13. So far, David has fared much better than anyone expected. He has had some significant fatigue but that only lasted for a few days. He also has not had much nausea. We had been told David would feel fine while in the hospital, get to feeling gradually worse with the low point being the second weekend of the cycle and he would gradually start feeling better the third week with the high point being at the weekend right before the next cycle starts. So far that has held true. 

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