I was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in August 2019 at age 64. It was an accidental find while scanning for a kidney stone. I was late stage 3 at diagnosis with no prior symptoms.
I had 4 rounds of R-DHAX finishing at the end of 2019 and followed with an autologous stem cell transplant at the University of Virginia on February 24, 2020. Along the way I had a life threatening duodenal ulcer (Oscar) as a result of the R-DHAX treatment.
The stem cell treatment resulted in several infections including a relatively rare lung infection that took 6 months to treat and resolve, C-diff, and other lung and gastric infections. I have generally responded well to the treatment and a year out I am just beginning my re-immunizations and envisioning some normalcy returning.
The nature of mantle cell lymphoma is that it commonly recurs so I know that I need to stay "plugged in" to the cancer network and the rapidly advancing treatments. The greatest likelihood is that I will have a number of years of remission to enjoy the good life.
It is a different life in retirement than I had imagined but certainly manageable after the enormity of what I've been through. I am here to be a resource and to hear how others navigate through living with cancer.