Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer. The two main forms of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Lymphoma occurs when cells of the immune system called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, grow and multiply uncontrollably. Cancerous lymphocytes can travel to many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood, or other organs, and form a mass called a tumor.
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare, B-cell NHL that most often affects men over the age of 60. The disease may be aggressive (fast growing) but it can also behave in a more indolent (slow growing) fashion in some patients. MCL comprises about five percent of all NHLs. The disease is called “mantle cell lymphoma” because the tumor cells originally come from the “mantle zone” of the lymph node. MCL is usually diagnosed as a late-stage disease that has typically spread to the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow.
I will never forget talking to my mom on the phone and finding out my grandpa was in the hospital for this pain in his stomach. October 19th, 2017. Having him leave the hospital hearing he has a tumor on his spleen and mantle cell lymphoma, it just punched me in my stomach. I never researched something so much until I heard about MCL. Reading how uncommon it is, how by the time someone finds out they have MCL they usually are in stage 4 of cancer and need chemotherapy treatments, etc. So I stopped myself and will wait to hear of my grandpas case instead of the internets common cases, in hopes he can be different.
Thankfully, he agreed to have chemotherapy and is not giving up. He has been back for a biopsy which they drilled into his back and he will find out in a couple weeks more information about this new found cancer.
December 14th, 2017. This biopsy caused him to miss my graduation because he wasn’t able to lift any weight and had to keep pressure on his back. As of a December 28th, 2017, we found out he will have a port installed for chemotherapy as he is not a candidate for the pill treatment. But he is still going to fight which gives me hope and strength for him.
January 25th, 2017. He had his first chemotherapy treatment. He has become weak, fatigued, and has no appetite. He has troubles sleeping and is in pain. Without much help from my grandma, we have been making him healthy foods, shakes, and replace the firewood so they can have a warm house. Every thought and prayer will help.
August, 2018. We found out that my Grandpa is CANCER FREE! Nothing feels better than knowing my grandpa at his age was able to overcome something that hurts so many other families. I feel truly blessed to know someone as strong as him.