Aug 23, 2018 Latest post:
Nov 11, 2018
In November 2013, Tim was preparing for elective surgery when he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma following a routine blood test during his pre op appointment. After one year of chemotherapy, the disease was considered stable and he didn’t require any further treatment.
Fast forward to August 2017 when he started having symptoms that were similar to what he had experienced when he was initially diagnosed. Chemotherapy was started again. Also during this time, he developed shingles on his face, forehead, scalp, and eye which caused problems with his vision. He continues to have neuralgia, or pain from where the shingles were located.
After several months, and no improvement in his symptoms, further testing was warranted. Tim had stumped the doctors. Following a bone marrow biopsy on January 11, Tim was told that the CLL had transformed into Richters Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is a very rare and aggressive cancer. He was started on a different chemotherapy regimen and referred to Froedtert.
During the appointment at Froedtert, Tim was told that he would need to have a bone marrow transplant in order to survive. He was very sick at this point. Tim needed to gain weight, get stronger, and continue chemo for the doctor to even consider transplant. He did just that, and when he followed up with the doctor at Froedtert in March, Dr Hamadani was pleasantly surprised with how much Tim had improved. The bone marrow transplant was now possible and scheduled for June.
A bone marrow transplant uses healthy blood-forming cells donated by someone else to replace the unhealthy blood-forming cells. Tim's brother Greg offered to be tested and was found to be a perfect match!
Shortly after the good news, the lymphoma relapsed. Transplant was put on hold and a new immunotherapy was started to try to control the disease. After four cycles, Tim had a PET scan in August that showed the chemo had worked and he was on the fast track for transplant.
Two full days of various testing in Milwaukee proved that Tim was healthy and able to proceed with transplant. He will be admitted to Froedtert on August 23 to start the first of five days of chemotherapy to kill the diseased cells in his body. The treatment will also destroy his marrow, which may be making the diseased cells. Tim's brother Greg will donate the healthy cells on August 28 and Tim will receive the transplant on August 29. He will remain in the hospital for about one month and then will be staying in Milwaukee for up to two additional months for close monitoring. Ann will be with him as his caregiver.
Tim has a long road ahead of him, but his faith in God and prayers from family and friends will carry him through this journey.
Visitors will be limited because Tim needs to rebuild his immune system.
Well wishes may be sent to:
c/o Froedtert Hospital
9200 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53226