It's Saturday night, and I'm working on something I thought I'd never have to do. Create a CaringBridge site for my wife, Julie. In case we haven't met, this is Dale and I'm struggling with where to begin.
Julie has lymphoma. Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma if we're getting down to the nuts and bolts. And it's rare. I'll let you hear it in Julie's words, from a communication to family on December 2.
In mid-July I noticed some areas of skin discoloration on my chest. I gave it a month to see if it went away, and then went to my doctor on August 13. She didn’t know what it might be, but we decided that I’d wait another 2-3 weeks to see if it faded. When it didn’t, she referred me to a breast surgeon (which, of course, took 2-3 weeks to get in to see!). She was puzzled, too, so sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound. The results came back a few days later—clean. So I was then referred to a dermatologist (who took 5-6 weeks to get in to see!). I went there on November 13, where three different doctors took a look… (I have to say that I’ve had more people look at my chest in the past month than in my entire life!) They biopsied two areas, and on November 19 I was diagnosed with “intravascular large B-cell lymphoma,” which is a rare type. (You know me—I like to be considered special and unique!)
We’ve decided that I’ll go to Mayo for treatment, since it’s a weird one, and Mayo specializes in the weird. We met with a hematologist there on November 28, whom we liked, and are confident that we’re on the right track. I feel great, and have no other symptoms, which is very unusual with this diagnosis. My PET/CT scan and bone marrow biopsy were clean, for which we're thankful. The treatment will be six cycles of R-CHOP chemotherapy, followed by three cycles of methotrexate chemotherapy. I had the first chemo on December 11-13, which was interesting. We'll leave it at that for now... I'll hopefully feel good for Christmas and New Year's, and will greet the new year with the next cycle on January 3!
We covet your prayers for healing and strength as we go through this.
So, that's a start. More to come. Thank you for joining us on this journey...