In early November of 2019, Richard had an "acute belly" and was seen in the ER. Michael thought it might be an appendicitis, but with a CT of the belly, it showed several enlarged lymph nodes that was causing this acute pain. We did a repeat CT of the chest/abdomen/pelvis seven weeks later that showed continued swelling and a referral to the oncologist was made. In late December, we saw Dr. Snyder (Richard's oncologist) who ordered 8 biopsies of his enlarged neck lymph nodes. On January 6 of 2020, Richard was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, more specifically small-cell lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL, cancer of the lymph nodes), which is almost exactly the same disease as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that starts in the blood. Even though we were both shocked by this discovery, these conditions are treatable. If you would like to get some basic information on SLL/CLL to better understand this process, go to https://lymphoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/f11/NHL-Booklet-2019.pdf
To tell you the truth, this has shocked the be-jesus out of both of us because as we have progressed in his workup, including getting a PET scan and a bone marrow biopsy, the staging of his disease is Level 3 (because he has enlarged lymph nodes above and below his diaphragm) and as we find out next week, if it has spread into his bone marrow, it will be at the most severe stage of Level 4. And because Richard continues with abdominal pain and its severity, we will be starting allopathic (conventional Western medicine} treatment in the next few weeks. Thankfully, Richard had quit smoking months prior to his cancer diagnosis. Go figure!
And to be honest, the best thing about dealing with all of this cancer stuff, is that we are able to rely, depend & cherish the abilities and closeness that we have with our alternative family medicine doctor (Dr. Russell Canfield), our alternative chiropractor(Dr. Vince Palladino) and their lovely staff, and the incredible support we have from all of our medical and nursing friends, and plenty of folks who have been looking to treat cancer through comprehensive therapies. With everyone's guidance, Richard has cut sugars out & has started the Keto- diet, has sent his blood to Greece for a complete genetic and therapeutic analysis, and continues to be as proactive as possible. This includes ideas such as supplemental herbs, mushrooms, vitamin IVs, infrared heat, acupuncture, and chiropractic. All of this was verified by the Grecian study as effective for his cancer. The issue with all of these alternative therapies is that they are not covered by insurance. The Grecian analysis cost $3000 and all of the alternative treatments could likely cost over $1000 per month.
The power of your love and support means so very much to both of us and we know it will get us through this challenging time.
P.S If you wish to donate to Richard please click on "Personal Fundraiser" below, not "Donate to Caring Bridge". Thank you so much.