It’s Official; My Mantle Cell Lymphoma is Back… Again

4/15/15 - I met with Dr. Goy today and I received the official word that the biopsy results showed that my Mantle Cell Lymphoma is back again. Of course, the ever positive Dr. Goy feels good about getting me back to good health. We discussed and agreed to a phased treatment approach.
The first phase will be a chemotherapy  referred to as R-BAC which is a combination of rituximab, bendamustine, and cytarabine. The plan will be for me to have four 21 day cycles. We are looking to have my port surgically installed sometime next week and then we can begin my first cycle at the beginning of the following week, Monday April 27th. This will be 3 consecutive days.
Once I have successfully completed R-BAC, the next step will be me getting a DLI (donor leukocyte infusion). This is an infusion in which lymphocytes from the original stem cell donor are infused, after the transplant, to augment an anti-tumor immune response or ensure that the donor stem cells remain engrafted. These donated white blood cells contain cells of the immune system that can recognize and destroy cancer cells.
Once the DLI has been successfully completed the next step is CAR T-Cell Therapy. This is a treatment that will engineer my immune cells to treat my MCL. Depending on the timing this treatment will being given to me at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital or The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. Doctor Goy is very excited about this treatment… so of course I am excited about it as well.
As you can imagine this was a very long day with and lot for me to process. I am confident that we have an excellent plan and that it will result in a successful outcome for me.
In the meantime I will live my life in as normal a way that I can. As a matter of fact I receive my last infusion of the first cycle on Wednesday, April 29th. I will follow this with me boarding a plane two days later to go to my Goddaughter’s wedding on May 2nd. The way I see it is life is meant to be lived… no matter what obstacles we face.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
More to come…

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