It takes a lot of guts, heart and faith in microbiology to give yourself over to a hematologist/oncologist who recommends a monoclonal antibody, chemotherapy and radiation protocol that will nearly wreck your life before it saves it, to take the fight directly to the mantle cell lymphoma like the athlete you are when you look and feel completely healthy and the only evidence to the contrary is a couple of lymph nodes on the left side of your neck that are missing certain filters with the bizarre, pool shark sounding name of “fatty hilam.”

But tough is who you are. And the nearly impossible is what you’ve done all your life. Why should it be different just because you’re 76, ready to sell the big house in Florida and move back to the Western North Carolina mountains for some grand mountain hiking, sunset watching, porch sitting, book reading,  book writing and lovin’ your woman time? When you’ve just completed your first novel and are looking for a top-notch editor?

I’m Sally Harper. Tom Harper is my husband. I call him “the lovin’-est man in the whole wide world.” We’ve been together more than 33 years.

Mantle cell lymphoma entered our vocabulary on May 28, 2014 when Tom was diagnosed with MCL at Stage 2 and behaving so far in an indolent manner. You may have found this site by searching the internet for “mantle cell.” If so, it’s most likely because it’s touching your life, or that of a spouse, partner,  family member or friend. Or perhaps you’re a clinician or researcher.

I’ll share our experiences as openly as I can, where we’ve been so far, and as we go forward. Please join in the conversation anytime you feel comfortable with it, in your own name or a pseudonym, as I am doing here. And if you know me in Real Life, or as a former blog buddy by my real name, I’m so happy you’re here. Just remember: I’m Sally and you-know-who is Tom.

Click on the Posts page to follow along.  Jump in anytime the spirit moves you.

Take care,



“May your trails be crooked, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds, may your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottoes of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you – beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”

~ Edward Abbey ~ A Prayer for the Traveler (Thanks to Whiskey River for bringing this magnificent quote to my attention.)


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