Thirty days after stem cell transplantation, Timmon Lund joined the CrossFit club . Paul.
” I wanted to be healthy again .”
9 months before, at the age of 33, Lund had Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed.
Cancer limits the ability of the body to resist infections, in addition, the disease has progressed, chemotherapy and radiation are standard procedures, stem cell transplantation is not.
” Crossfit ,” he said, ” was able to regain my former form ”
At the third week of the month course for beginners in the Minnesota affiliate, Lund felt a tightening in his neck, although he never lifted anything heavier than a light PVC neck over his head. Almost a week his head will swell, and he will feel dizzy. It was in August 2013.
” I already knew that it was a relapse of the disease even before I met the doctor .”
At that moment, Lund had already had two chemotherapy sessions (one in December 2012, the other in March 2013). This was even before the authorities approved the transplantation of autologous stem cells, i.e. stem cells derived from their own organism.
The contraction in the neck was caused by a new tumor, compressing the trachea and blood vessels. Lund started chemotherapy treatment for the third time.
Doctors hoped for a positive result, as there was a donor – a former railway inspector was approved for transplantation of allogeneic stem cells, i.e. stem cells from a suitable donor.
Chemotherapy sessions were held every second Friday. Immediately after each session, Lund walked straight into the hall to at least for a while feel like a person leading a normal lifestyle.
” Once I vomited strongly in the hall .” Nevertheless, training helped him gain strength.
Initially, the treatment worked, but then ceased to produce results. One of the oncologists, Dr. Hanbin Wang, suggested adding a drug bendamustine containing nitroprit at the second chemotherapy session.
” They were trying to do something new ,” Lund explains, ” and it worked .”
The tumors disappeared. Lund nevertheless achieved his goal, and as a result he was given the opportunity to undergo an operation for transplantation of allogeneic stem cells, which requires a thirty-day stay in the hospital.
At this time, Jesse Queen, one of the coaches of Crossfit St. Paul, came to stay with Lund. The doctors discharged Lund two weeks earlier, as he recovered quickly enough after the operation.
Coach Jesse Quinn (left) came to the hospital to stay with Lund.
Approximately 30 days after the second transplantation, the bad news came again. PET scan (positron emission tomography) has detected many tumors. Lund suffered 25 chemotherapy sessions.
” These were, perhaps, the worst of the chemotherapy sessions that I was taking ,” he says.
But all these sessions did not give a positive result. Because of the detected pneumonia, he had to stay in the hospital, the doctors worked to improve Lund’s condition, and puzzled over what could help him.
By the end of the summer of 2014, Lund again began to take bendamustine. It did not work. Doctors tried another treatment – to no avail, they seemed to rest against the wall.
It was December. The tumor in Lund’s liver became so great that he could not even sit down for several months, all he could do was lie and take prescribed medications.
” We almost lost it ,” says Ouane. The oncologist asked to include Lund in the list for participation in the experimental method of treatment – immunotherapy (transplantation of own stem cells), which had not previously been applied. He will be among the first people to undergo such treatment. The doctor’s request was approved, and Lunda was included in the list.
On December 19, 2014, a few days after the start of treatment, Lund could already sit on the couch for several minutes. This was the only thing he was able to do for a month.
About two months later, the doctors suspended treatment, because they were concerned about the great toxicity in Lund’s lungs. Since Lund has not needed treatment with immunotherapy. He was on round-the-clock oxygen for about six months, but, after all, he could manage without it. He returned to the Crossfit class at the end of 2015.
” I am the weakest of all, the slowest and the last in everything – but this is not a problem. I smile when I tell you: I’m back, and I love this business . ” When he appeared in the club Crossfit St. Paul, all he wanted was to improve his physical form.
” Looking back, I’m not saying that Crossfit helped me cure cancer or something like that, but deep down I know that he supported my health, helped me stay alive and gave me the necessary time that allowed the doctors to heal me .”
Lund believes that his good physical shape has helped him fight the disease for quite some time.
Lund believes that this is why, as soon as possible, he returned to the class. Dr. Ouane says that Lund’s form and positive attitude helped him to withstand chemotherapy, radiation irradiation and two transplants.
They helped him not only physically but also psychologically to fight the disease and to treat, helped to cope with all the trials. Dr. Ouen agrees with this and adds that the National Instructions for Cancer Patients today recognize the importance of physical exercise.
” Still, Lund’s story is special ,” says Ouane, ” it can be considered a miracle .”