Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia: Bill Howard
While on vacation with his wife in 2005, Bill Howard discovered a lump in his breast. “Men don’t get lumps in their breasts,” he thought. A few days later, he found a second one in his bicep. After arriving home, Bill’s family physician ordered blood tests to determine the cause of the lumps. With cancer being a possibility, Bill was referred to Dr. Robert Nagourney at Rational Therapeutics to receive an accurate diagnosis.
Rational Therapeutics diagnosed me with Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a rare form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. By this point, my cancer was spreading. The tumors that I felt initially had spread to my face and the side of my body, and my energy level had declined greatly. Fortunately, Dr. Nagourney gave me and my wife much needed hope regarding my prognosis.
The tumor on my side was biopsied and sent to the Rational Therapeutics lab for testing. The results of the assay showed that I was sensitive to a variety of treatments and I was placed on a chemotherapy regimen. After the first treatment, my tumors disappeared, which proved that we were on the right track!
Within the first month of my initial diagnosis, a CAT scan revealed that I also had prostate cancer.
I completed my assay-directed chemotherapy in January 2006, and had my prostate removed in July of that same year. I have been cancer-free ever since. My wife calls me her “Miracle Man” and I agree.
Without the dedication and research of Dr. Nagourney and the Rational Therapeutics team I would not be here today. Now I am able to enjoy my family, watch my grandchildren grow up, and even continue playing sports.
I credit the functional profiling assay at Rational Therapeutics for my recovery, and that is something for which I will be grateful the rest of my life.
Bill has been cancer free for 12 years.