Follicular Lymphoma - Stage IV: Marsha Fatone

In February 2009, Marsha Fatone awoke one day with a terrible pain in the left side of her body immediately sending her to the hospital. When her ultrasound and CAT scan came back negative, the doctors gave her anesthetic pain medicine and sent her on her way.

A few months later, Marsha saw a gastrointestinal specialist, who pointed out a lymph node that had shown up on the original CAT scan a few months prior. He sent away for another test, and Marsha’s diagnosis was confirmed that it was Stage 4 Follicular Lymphoma.

“A good friend of ours insisted that we see Robert Nagourney, MD, in Long Beach, CA.” she said. “We did, and Dr. Nagourney asked that I have another biopsy to get a live sample of tumor to be tested in his laboratory at Rational Therapeutics.

The results of the functional profiling assay recommended a treatment course that would require me to be hospitalized for five days during chemotherapy infusion. I needed to do this six times with two weeks off in-between each treatment. Dr. Nagourney said that my biggest challenge during this time would be the boredom I would experience in the hospital. He was right.

It was not a walk in the park, but I managed to take care of myself and keep a positive attitude. I never wore a hospital gown and between treatments I saw my acupuncturist to keep strong and heal faster.

After my second treatment I had a PET scan which revealed that my cancer had disappeared.  A recent repeat scan confirmed that I was still clear of enlarged lymph nodes.

Months later since my last treatment, I’m doing great.”

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