Taking Charge of Your Health

(inspiring background music) I call it my cancer marathon because it has just been a
long, continuous cancer journey because it has just been a
long, continuous cancer journey that has lasted over 22 years. My first cancer diagnosis
came in the fall of 1994. I was 30 years old, a wife,
a mom, working full-time I was 30 years old, a wife,
a mom, working full-time so I’ve had it all: chemo, radiation, surgery, a bilateral mastectomy. I had to have my eye removed
and a stem cell transplant. so I have had longer remissions that have gotten shorter and shorter. Ian, we are relatively newlyweds. I had my first relapse a year
after we had started dating. Cancer has involved
our entire relationship so when I got this last
diagnosis of lymphoma it was clear that the standard of care was no longer an option for me. The navigator that was available to me to help me look through
clinical trials said, “would you consider a CAR-T trial?” It’s so new that even my
local oncologist last year he wasn’t aware. I honestly wrote to every single doctor that was leading a trial
all over the United States. CAR-T when I first heard about it sounded incredible, but yet so sci-fi. Like, this is how we’re going
to treat cancer someday. and I was surprised that
that someday was here. Ian: It’s your own body doing the healing and they’re only helping your cells. They’re just giving them a homing signal to go after the cell they
should be going after in the first place. – I entered the CAR-T trial at Mass General Hospital in Boston. I received three days of
chemotherapy, very low dose. And the purpose of that was to clear out the existing T cells that I had so that there would be room for my new super-charged awesome T cells. Two days later, I was
admitted to the hospital to receive the dose. The first sign that the CAR-T was working was actually on day three. My side effects were pretty much the fever, I was a little bit achy I think I had my blood pressure drop. And then I had severe pain in the area that the tumor was at. That was kind of exciting because the doctor said, “That’s the CAR-Ts going “to work on your tumor.” For me, immunotherapy was
dramatically different than any other treatment that I’d had. I liked it because I
felt like it was working with my body instead of against it. – Then a few weeks after the treatment, we’re walking Boston. We got the job done, now
let’s go enjoy ourselves. – So my CAR-T treatment
was received last year. And then in October, I had a relapse. And then in October, I had a relapse. Knowing of some of the things in my life that would be coming up like my daughter getting married it was hard to think that maybe I wouldn’t be here for those things so I felt desperate, like I’ve
got to get that other CAR-T because I know it worked
for me the first time. And when they did the PET scan there was no lymphoma anywhere. They feel that somehow the
CAR-T got re-energized. I was back in remission. In my history of cancer treatments, I’ve had to be really persistent to stay in the game. Cancer Research Institute
is doing the same thing. And I’m so appreciative of the effort to get this way of treatment
available to people. Because without that immunotherapy, I wouldn’t be here today. – Now that we’re coming up on a year and I see how Jami has responded, it’s like we have a
new life to start over. – And we finally took our honeymoon. Now I’m planning my daughter’s wedding and now I can’t stop
thinking about grandchildren and we just have so much
to look forward to now and I really think I’m going
to be here for all of it. I’m looking forward to a
50th wedding anniversary. – Yup. – I mean that would make me over 100 but I think we can do it. – I think we can do it. – We can do it. Yeah. (inspiring background music)

5 thoughts on “Beating Lymphoma with CAR T Cell Therapy: Jami’s Immunotherapy Story

  1. My brother has been battling cancer for ten years. Now he is immnutherpy . We pray that it works for him . Ameen

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