Starting from the beginning is like trying to recall a bad dream... On the evening of April 18, 2016 our lives forever changed. For weeks Frank complained of shoulder pain. His doctor diagnosed him with bursitis, gave him some pain medication and exercises to do then sent him on his way. That week the pain got worse. It made its way down his left side and into his abdomen. Frank went back to his doctor and was sent to the Emergency Room. Like everyone else, we nervously waited. Vitals done, blood drawn, and we waited. CT scan done, we waited. Behind every critical patient, we waited. When the busy ER Doctor finally came to talk to us, he told us Frank's white blood cell count was very high and Frank's spleen was enlarged. He listed all of the possible diagnoses, the last one being cancer. I don't think we heard anything he said after that. Eventually Frank was admitted to the hospital and we waited (sorry, lots of waiting) to be seen by a doctor and get a diagnosis.
That morning on April 19, 2016; we were seen by an oncologist who told us that based on the CT scans and blood work that Frank had either a leukemia or lymphoma. He would need a bone marrow biopsy to determine the exact diagnosis. They would be keeping him in the hospital out of concern that his spleen might rupture. The bone marrow biopsy took place on Wednesday. After a long week in the hospital, finally on Friday morning, we had a diagnosis. Frank was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, stage 4. We did our best to scrape ourselves together, get discharged from the hospital, and go home to begin our "new normal."
The following weeks were spent with doctors, oncologists, having blood draws, scans, getting organized, and making REALLY BIG decisions. Eventually Frank chose to be treated at University of Maryland Medical Center, in Baltimore.
Frank had his port placed for IV access on May 11 and started chemotherapy on May 12. His second chemo treatment was yesterday, 2 more to go then he gets a week off! Woo hoo!
Since starting chemo, he's been okay. (Aside from having some adverse reactions to the biological medication) He is fatigued, has been having headaches, and wears a visibly concerned face.
I will do my best to update this page to save myself and everyone else from repeats.
Please know Frank and I truly LOVE and enjoy the phone calls, texts, cards, emails, singing telegrams, and drop ins. I don't wish to depersonalize this experience by starting this website. We had no idea how absolutely loved we are! The constant support has been overwhelming and there's no way we could handle this alone. Thank you doesn't even feel like enough, there really are not words to express our gratitude ❤️