Fight All the Way
Dimas is a three-time cancer survivor of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. What started back in the summer of 2011 with a very bad pain in his stomach quickly revealed Stage 4 of cancer. Dimas was an athlete and in great physical condition. This dangerous opponent had already spread through his chest, abs, liver and spleen he began his first round in the ring. For Dimas, he would encounter treatments two more times before he finished the fight.
Signs and Symptoms
- Unexplained weight loss
- Skin redness and itchiness
- Nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain
Cancer Was Back
This opponent wasn’t going to give up after the first round. Just a year later after his first treatment, Dimas was at a checkup right before Christmas. A few CT scans revealed cancer had returned. His doctor told him to start chemotherapy immediately. Dimas decided to wait until after Christmas to be with his family.
Dimas was ready. He said to himself, “So you know what? Give it to me, I’ll take it, I’ll fight it. I’m ready for it. Bring it on. And that was my attitude the second time, all the way through whatever.”
He drew from his strength once more and kept the momentum going. “Cancer, like any other bad opponent, has the ability to be right in your face and it wants to take control of your mind, your body, your soul. And if you’re not mentally ready for that, then you’re going to let cancer beat you, and win. I didn’t want to go through that, I didn’t want to do that, it isn’t me,” he explained. He began to feel better. The treatment appeared to work this time.
Two Years Passed
Dimas was celebrating life in Puerto Rico with friends and family. His life was on the upward bound. Coming back from vacation, he felt a lump in his neck after noticing his seatbelt felt tight around his neck. A few days later he came out about it to his wife. The cancer was back.
It didn't take doctors long to realize that it was time for another treatment method, but how? How would he face the opponent again? A bone marrow transplant did not yield success, he was running out of options. His prognosis began to grow grim at six to seven months.
Two Days Changes So Much
So there Dimas was again, getting ready to go into the ring to fight this cancer another time. Just two days after being given such a grim diagnosis Dimas was told to go to Moffitt. They said you’re going to meet Dr. Locke, he’s doing a clinical trial for CAR T therapy“...just make it to Tampa… just make it over there right away as fast as possible.”
Dr. Locke explained exactly how it would work. Taking T cells from his bone marrow and re-engineering them to fight cancer and placing them back into his body. These killer T cells were going to go straight to cancer and destroy it.
Dimas said to himself as he underwent this specialized treatment, “I want them to remember me as a fighter, as a warrior. As a person that didn't quit, even though at the worst moment of his life he never quit. He kept going all the way.”
With the help of the clinical trial, Dimas came out a winner. He said that when he first walked into Moffitt he was losing his battle with cancer and just 2-3 weeks later he came out as a winner.