Tough Mudder June 2, 2013

Don McGowan Don's story

First post: Jan 26, 2009 Latest post: Jan 21, 2013
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about Don's battle with Primary Mediastinal Diffuse Large B Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.

Don was diagnosed with an aggressive type of Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma, called Primary Mediastinal Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma Stage 2B on September 3, 2008. He had a 9.9 x 9cm tumor in his anterior mediastinum, which was pressing on his heart. The cancer was fast growing and had grown into a softball sized tumor in less than 5 months.

Don underwent chemotherapy (R-CHOP 21 x6) from September through December 2008 without success. From March through April 2009, he received another type of chemotherapy that was much stronger (R-ICE x2), but again without success. His cancer was considered to be chemo refractory and chemo resistant. From June 2 through July 8, 2009, Don traveled back and forth to New York City every week day for 5 weeks to recieve radiation to his chest. In total, he received 24 radiation treatments at 4320Gy to his mediastinum. Finally, he achieved remission! What remains now is a 5 x 3cm mass of scar tissue.

In order to decrease the potential of a relapse of the cancer, Don was admitted to Memorial Sloan Kettering on September 8, 2009 for an autologous stem cell transplant. He was discharged from the hospital on Day +11.

Don is now in the healing process. We are ready to move on. Cancer has stolen so much from us and our children, but we have met many truly wonderful people while on this journey. Our faith in our Savior, along with the love and support from our friends and family has helped us through this most difficult time in our lives. It is through this process, that we have learned how very precious life is. We have only one chance to get it right. Make every moment count! 



Tess and I want to thank all of you for everything you have given to us. This has been a year filled with challenges for our entire family. The comfort we receive from your emails, telephone calls, messages in the guest book and your prayers are greatly appreciated. Many of you have gone above and beyond the call of friendship. We never thought we would be in a position like this. But I guess no one does. All I can say is thank you for making this journey a little easier. You all have been a blessing to us.

Thank you for your love and support!



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