I lost my big brother Vincent J. Di Cristo to two forms of cancer on February 14, 2014. He apparently had both high grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma as well as Burkitt lymphoma. I’m very confused as to how he could have had two different types of cancer because as far as I know, he was always in good health.
Being a former Marine, he always watched his weight and what type of food he ate. So when I got the call that he was in the hospital in an extreme amount of stomach pain, I knew my brother had to have felt like he was dying. He was Mr. Tough Guy. The doctors and nurses couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw his white blood count. It was astronomical. At first they thought leukemia, which is a normal reaction. He was transferred to a hospital that could better treat him. Upon his arrival, he was in for countless X-rays, cat scans, MRI’s and ultimately a bone marrow biopsy. This confirmed the diagnosis of high grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He would be okay one minute and he would get chills and a fever the next.
At that point, they had not told us what stage he was in. He was ready for his fight. He said "Let’s do this. I am fighting this cancer full force."
He had a great attitude. Further testing showed he also had Burkitt lymphoma, apparently one of the rarest forms of lymphoma. Ultimately he had two rounds of chemotherapy and it got the better of him. He passed away on February 14, 2014. I am glad he did not suffer like some do. He was surrounded by his loving family including his beautiful wife-to-be and step-son. We walk in his honor at Light The Night and raise funds to find a cure for blood cancers.