My Diagnosis

On Friday, June 9, 2017 – I had an MRI on my left knee that sent me to Iowa City to see a specialist on Monday, June 12. By June 14, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma – a blood cancer concentrated in my left femur bone. There are many types of Lymphoma and being able to subtype the cancer would be critical to receiving the best treatment, so we spent a month taking scans & 4 biopsies. On Wednesday, July 12 – the cancer had a name… Follicular Lymphoma.

Follicular Lymphoma is a type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but there are still many “subtypes”. Each of those subtypes fall into one of two classifications: Aggressive (fast growing) or Indolent (slow growing) – these categories characterize how the disease is progressing. My cancer is “Indolent”, a slow growing cancer, localized in my left distal femur.

My treatment plan included immunotherapy & radiation. Immunotherapy is a targeted therapy drug, that stimulates my immune system in hopes that it would appropriately diagnose the cancer cells as bad and fight against them. I took Rituximab, an immunotherapy drug, once a week during the month of August & also had radiation directed towards my left knee every day during September.

The goal is to be cancer-free following this treatment plan, but the nature of Follicular Lymphoma is that it’s “treatable but not curable” {the language the medical field uses}. Therefore, the goal of this treatment is to destroy & damage the cancer activity so much that it wouldn’t return for a very long time, if not never return. Only time will tell.

Following my treatment, I had a PET Scan on December 5, 2017 which detected NO more lymphoma cells! I had my second clean scan in January of 2019 – Praise the Lord!!