Steve is a 60 year old MCD patient and Castleman warrior from Arizona. His journey began around 2003 with joint pain, leg rashes and swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy). After several biopsies and a battery of tests he was diagnosed in August 2005 with iMCD.
Steve describes this as being “very difficult for me to accept being a distance runner and had played college rugby for the University of Arizona. I have run 13 marathons and too numerous to count half marathons.” This diagnosis was devastating to him!
Steve shared with us his diagnostic and treatment journey:
“Initially after my diagnosis, I started a strong regimen of steroids to stifle this disease. It worked for a while then it didn’t. Back again on the steroids to put the genie back in the bottle. It worked for a while then it didn’t. Next came Rituxan® (rituximab) infusions that briefly slowed my MCD. As each relapse occurred my symptoms were more severe and longer in duration. Finally, on October 23, 2008 I agreed to have an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant to help save my life. I felt very fortunate my bone marrow was not damaged so we could use my own stem cells. I spent two weeks in the hospital and another 30 days at home recovering and getting stronger. My journey was a blessing in disguise. It made me a better person, a better spouse, a better businessperson. I learned what is important in life.
11 months and 4 days post stem cell transplant I ran the Omaha half marathon. In February 2012 I was diagnosed with Hypogammaglobuinemia so I
receive an IVIG Immunoglobulin treatment every three months. A small price to pay to stay healthy. My MCD remains in remission for the past 13 years. I continue to exercise or run almost everyday and will turn 61 this June.”