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8/21/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. Our goal is to keep family and friends updated on Pat's progress. Pat started noticing something was off in December when we went to Oklahoma for his dad's birthday. In January he was starting to lose weight and having pain in his upper left abdomen. With our upcoming trip to Vietnam, he wanted to make sure it was all OK and after a visit to the doc, we were assured he was fine. Pain and weight loss continued, though nothing while in Vietnam. In April and May, after more trips to the ER and the Dr plus our insistence that something was wrong, we had a diagnosis of Mantel Cell Lymphoma which had caused his spleen to more than double in size, blood counts and liver enzymes to go nuts. The disease originated in his bone marrow and is throughout his lymph system which is throughout his body. This is why it's stage IV - all over but confined to one system. Pat started immunotherapy and chemo on 6/6/16. He has multiple prescriptions to manage side effects and has needed none of them opting instead for acupuncture, massage therapy, diet, exercise and supplements. He's doing very well. He will have his 4th round 29-31 August at which point he will be tested to see if the disease is in remission. If so, he'll begin prep for a stem cell transplant with a mixture of fear and gratitude - nervous about the procedure, grateful for the option. We both feel as though we've been kidnapped and taken to a foreign country, trying to learn the language and culture of lymphoma so we can keep up with the remarkable professionals who are helping us. Just knowing enough to know what questions to ask is daunting. BUT...our escape hatch is always open so that we're able to live our lives and fit cancer into the picture when we have to.Pat's determined to beat this thing and we feel SO fortunate that at this point, there may even be a cure for MCL within the next few years; the transplant buys us time. If he'd been diagnosed when we retired (5 years ago) we were told he would have had 6-12 months. Now THAT'S progress!We've appreciated your encouragement wonderful good wishes, your irreverent humor and shared experiences. Of course our best wishes are right back at you!!!