Nov 28, 2018 Latest post:
Dec 24, 2019
Tim’s story began in November 2016 when he noticed a rather large lump when he raised his arm above his head. He felt fine and did not have any signs of illness, but knew the lump wasn’t normal. A visit to his primary doctor led him to scans, tests, and eventually a biopsy. He was officially diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Follicular Lymphoma in January of 2017. He began his first round of chemo from January 2017-June 2017. His pet scan in June showed great response to treatment with just one node lighting up in his chest area. His doctor felt the Rituxin would continue to melt this node, so he was placed on maintenance treatment every 2 months for 2 more years. All was going well until December 2017-February 2018 when he dropped a bunch of weight and noticed the node in his armpit/chest area was growing. That little node that remained in June had tripled in size. He had this area biopsied and although it showed follicular lymphoma, his doctor felt the surgery removed it and to continue with maintenance therapy.
From March to May, Tim felt something more needed to be done. He decided to seek a second opinion, with another top- notch lymphoma specialist. This doctor advised Tim to stop the maintenance therapy, as it wasn’t working if there was growth. Tim had another pet scan at this time and it showed multiple nodes in the same area as where the large node was removed in February, which meant that his cancer was aggressively growing. Tim began his second round of chemo in August using a treatment called R-CHOP. He handled the first dose very well, lost a bit of hair but noticed a lump growing in his armpit/chest area pretty rapidly, to the point it visibly protruded through his shirt. Before round 2 of R-CHOP they did a scan of the node and found it had grown along with the multiple node friends merging together as one large mass. 2nd round of R-CHOP was cancelled and a surgical biopsy got scheduled along with a radiation consult. Results showed same cancer-Follicular Grade 3. Looks like chemo was fueling the cancer.
Tim spent 10 days in September receiving radiation twice a day and scans showed his cancer was responding really well to the radiation! His Dr. took his case in front of the lymphoma team to decide the next step. The team decided the best treatment would be for him to have a bone marrow transplant. Instead of doing the auto (his own cells) like initially thought, they decided an allo (donor cells) would be his best bet.