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Peter & Trudy Deer's Story

20 Nov 2017 at 12:00 AM

In 2016, at age 62, my husband Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer, for which he is now in remission. In the same year, I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma at age 61, for which I am now in remission.

Peter has recently been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, and underwent a 28 day chemotherapy hospital stay.

After 7 months of trying to convince our GP of 15 years to further investigate my one huge asymmetrical tonsil that appeared overnight and my husbands rapidly rising PSA (prostate specific antigen) I finally insisted on specialist referrals for both of us. 

I was immediately diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma and then it was further identified after biopsy and bone marrow tests, as the rare variety - mantle cell lymphoma. 

My, now our, amazing haematologist immediately started me on 6 rounds of Nordic Protocol chemotherapy with the monoclonal antibody - Rituximab. To be followed by ASCT (Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation).

My husband would not pursue his condition further until I finished the Nordic Protocol part of my treatment. He has been a tower of strength throughout this nightmare.

Peter had an MRI guided biopsy, only to discover that all 12 samples taken were cancerous, adenocarcinoma, requiring immediate removal of the prostate. So we finished my protocol then delayed my ASCT, so he could have a robotic assisted radical prostectomy on the 1st of February 2017 in Brisbane. 

In March this year, once Peter had recovered sufficiently, I underwent an autologous stem cell transplant.  

I am now 7 months post transplant and just received my latest results from the nuclear PET/CT and bloods and I am currently very grateful to be in remission. 

Peter was doing really well with his recovery and he has been incredible in looking after me.

I am needle phobic so had a portacath fitted for my chemo - I had that removed as my cancer is now chemo resistant so no more chemo for me. 

I understand that my cancer commonly relapses but I am hoping to beat the odds and have many years of PFS (progression free survival). 

On the 25th of October 2017 my wonderful, otherwise fit and healthy husband, was diagnosed with Acute myeloid Leukemia, requiring urgent chemotherapy. He was admitted to hospital, this time with a pic inserted in his arm having gallons of chemotherapy. Its breaking my heart to see him suffering again. 

Whilst we understand and appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to receive such timely and excellent treatment, we are devastated once again and praying for another miracle remission.

Category: Patient Stories
Tags: Acute Myeloid Laukaemia, AML, mantle cell lymphoma, non-hodgkin lymphoma, prostate, prostate cancer,
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