Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. As we learn more about what I have, we will post needs for meals, transportation, errands, etc. on this site as well. Thank you for caring about us and visiting!
On March 6th, 2018, I was admitted to Novant Matthews for fevers, drenching night sweats, bloated abdomen, high white blood cell counts, unexplained weight loss, and swelling in my hands and feet. The week prior I had been running extremely high fevers that we assumed were flu-related. After 8 days of fever despite Tamiflu, we decided it best to check things out.
Many tests were run in the hospital and confirmed that I did not have the flu, strep, mono, etc. I was given IV antibiotics, iron, fluids, and a blood transfusion. On Friday morning, March 9th, I had a bone marrow biopsy and was released from the hospital to handle additional testing on an outpatient basis. On Wednesday, March 14th, my hematologist/oncologist in Charlotte gave us the news that I have a rare, indolent B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The pathology was initially unclear, but the diagnosis leaned toward a splenic marginal zone or mantle cell lymphoma. Both of these often are diagnosed in people 65 years-old or older, which had me scratching my head because I'm 45. Given the rarity of these types of cancer, our doctor suggested that we be evaluated at Duke. We had an appointment there on 3/29. The Duke lymphoma specialist diagnosed me with splenic marginal zone lymphoma.
Those are the facts. To be honest, I haven't felt well for months prior to this hospital stay. I thought it was stress, age, job changes, etc. In my gut, as time passed, something just didn't feel right, and I wish I would have acted sooner.
I have been married for 21 years to Kerry Van Voorhis, and we have two children: Emery (14) and Dean (12) and our 8-year-old dog who we treat like our third child, Pippen. We are Christians, heavily relying on our faith to take this journey one day at a time. We are hopeful that with prayer, support from our community, good counsel from doctors, advice from our homeopathist, and making some changes in our lives, that we will come through this healthier and stronger!