Christopher Steele is not one to sit around feeling sorry for himself, but even he admits his diagnosis with anaplastic large T cell lymphoma (ALCL) last May was frightening.
“It is very nerve-wracking dealing with all the information,” says the 29-year-old father of two young daughters from Cranston.
Although it is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, ALCL is one of the more common subtypes of T-cell lymphoma and manifests in the lymph nodes located throughout the body or in the skin. For Christopher, the first sign that something was wrong came last spring when he noticed his leg was very swollen. His primary care physician discovered the cancer in the upper thigh and abdomen, and referred Christopher to Anthony Thomas, DO, Chief of Hematology/Oncology at Memorial Hospital.
At Memorial, Christopher had such tests as an ultrasound-guided biopsy and a bone marrow biopsy, and later underwent eight sessions of chemotherapy. He credits the staff at the hospital’s Cancer Center with helping him remain positive.
“Dr. Thomas took the time to listen and helped me feel at ease with my cancer diagnosis,” he explains. “He helped build my confidence level so I could deal with my treatments. My nurses were also supportive, especially Virginia Ferreira. She gave me excellent tips to help me cope with my side effects.”
After completing chemotherapy and positron emission tomography scans, Christopher is happily doing well and staying active with his wife Ariana and daughters, four-year-old Amy and one-year-old Roberta.