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Patients Against Lymphoma

 

Support > Patient-to-Patient > Patient Experiences & Guidance

Shirley Story

     I was diagnosed Jan. 1997 with CLL, after nodes were appearing and the lab  showed my WBC was too high.  I was alone with the doctor and asked, "What  can I do", he said "nothing". Even then I knew I had to do something to help  myself.

       I asked about studying, reading about the subject, taking supplements. He  said it would not hurt or help me!  The next month, I went to a Holistic  Medical Doctor, and she immediately told me, I had to build up my immune  system. I was working two jobs, one stressful job, which I loved. I was  having infections almost monthly.   

   That is when I started the multivitamins, herbs, and went to every class I  could on rebuilding my health. I checked the computer, and I completely changed  my diet. Everything that was good for me, I learned to love. I gave up all  fast foods, and red meat. I walked every morning. After three years, I became  anemic, and started vitamin IV's in the doctor's office. For that period, I  never had an infection, cold or the flu. I was sure the good health care was  working!  

    After the fourth year, I knew I had to take early retirement, the red  and  hemoglobin counts were dropping. The spleen was growing quickly. My local  hematologist was patient with me, saying he would wait until I was ready for  treatment. I was just happy to continue on W&W. Then Dec. 2000, I got a bad pneumonia, and was in the hospital 8 days. I was given blood, and finally an  infectious doctor was called in to get the infection, which was low in the  lung. I was on oxygen as the red count was not producing oxygen.   

     After 5 months, my doctor started talking about spleen surgery, or chemo,  I knew my system could not handle that treatment. I had been following the  listing on the computer, hearing about Dr. Keating, decided to try and see  him for a 2nd. opinion.  I went as a self-referral, it was not too hard, and  after sending my records, I was given an appt. Christmas week 2001.  

     That is where my Christmas miracle occurred, as my children say. Dr.  Keating was ready to start RFC protocol on me after the first exam. But after  seeing my BMP , he said I was missed dx. I did not have Cll, but did had  splenic lymphoma. He knew all that was needed was 8 courses of Rituxan, and  he promised me I would be in remission. I did have my doubts, and I was very  tired.  

    The first course was that afternoon, taking 8-10 hr., then I flew to my  son's home for Christmas. After continuing the remaining 7 courses at home,  by Feb. 15, 2001, I was in remission. I must say my local hematologist was  not happy, that Dr. Keating started treatment without his opinion! I tried  to explain, but he was very hurt!  My happiness overshadowed his dismay.  

    Today, I tell the world--There is Hope! Never give up, never!  I am a very  positive person, I don't like seeing the negative in any patient. I believe  by waiting the 5 yrs., before treatment, I was given 5 yrs. of almost  normal lifestyle.  

      As there is no cure, why start toxic treatment, before all the symptoms are  present?  For that, I am grateful, that I had a choice to choose what my  heart and mind was telling me.  My friends and family are amazed with my  outlook and health today!  

 

  Shirley 

 
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