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Published on April 26, 2018

Thankful for the Care She Received and Optimistic About the Future

Photo of Linda Butler, lymphoma patient with MidMichigan Health.After being diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma, Linda Butler was successfully treated and remains optimistic about her future.

Last June, 78-year-old Linda Butler was struggling with severe stomach pain and was diagnosed with bleeding ulcers. When the pain became more severe, she returned to the Emergency Department at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland. Butler was admitted and, after some imaging and blood test results were reviewed, Medical Oncologist and Hematologist Isabelle Le, M.D., was called in to consult on her case.

Further investigation indicated that Butler was suffering from diffuse B-cell lymphoma. “Dr. Le told me it was a very aggressive lymphoma, but also very treatable,” Butler said.

With the diagnosis confirmed, things moved quickly. By July 5, they had done a bone marrow biopsy, and installed a port to deliver the medicine she needed. “I had my first chemotherapy treatment that evening,” Butler said.

“Thank goodness for Dr. Le. I was really sick, and she was awesome! She didn’t waste any time,” Butler said. “I hadn’t slept in days because of the pain and that first treatment knocked out almost all of the pain.”

In addition to making sure she was treated quickly, Butler said Dr. Le made sure she was very well informed.

“Dr. Le was very good about explaining everything to me,” she said. “She coached me all the way through treatment, kept my hopes up and I sailed through it.”

Three weeks after getting the initial dose of chemotherapy, Butler had her second dose. “I had chemo every three weeks for a total of six treatments,” she said. “I did lose my hair, but I never felt sick. I mowed the yard and kept up my flowers. I felt good while I was taking chemo.”

Butler found out in late November that post-treatment scans and an endoscopy showed no remaining evidence of the disease. While the 78-year-old Midland native knows there is a chance of recurrence, she is optimistic about the future. “I see Dr. Le every three months and she told me what to watch out for,” she said. “For now, I’m doing great.”

Butler said Dr. Le is far and away the best physician with whom she has ever worked. “I adore her. In fact, her whole staff is awesome,” Butler said. “I feel very fortunate to have had her as my doctor. I couldn’t have asked for better.”

Linda Butler’s story is just one example of MidMichigan’s advanced technology and expertise for cancer treatment. Those who would like more information may visit www.midmichigan.org/cancer.

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