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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

CLL Diagnosis Stories | Stephen’s Story

Stephen B., Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

1st symptoms: difficulty swallowing and fatigue
Treatment: Rituxan, Bendamustine, targeted therapy BTK inhibitor (ibrutinib)

Stephen’s Story: CLL Diagnosis & Treatments

Stephen was 45 years old when he felt his first symptoms that sent him to the doctor. After seeing specialists and undergoing several scans, he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL.

Now on ongoing targeted therapy, Stephen shares the details of his CLL diagnosis story to help others go through their own CLL treatment and experience. He shares everything from

Explore his story below. Thank you for sharing your story, Stephen!

  • Name: Stephen B.
  • Diagnosis (DX)
    • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Age at DX: 45 years old
  • 1st Symptoms:
    • difficulty swallowing
    • fatigue
  • Treatment
    • Rituxan
    • Bendamustine
    • Targeted therapy BTK inhibitor

Episode 01:
1st Symptoms

From being a very fit and active triathlete, Stephen started feeling the first symptoms of what changed his life forever – getting diagnosed with CLL.

Episode 02: CLL Diagnosis

Diving deeper into his story, Stephen shares his insights about patient self-advocacy, and how he managed processing the news of cancer with himself and loved ones.

Episode 03: 1st Line Treatment

With a positive outlook, and by taking it moment by moment, Stephen was able to get through longer-term treatment, including two years of rituxan.

Episode 04: CLL Relapse

While staying focused and positive, and with the support of his family, Stephen confronts relapse and moves on from one treatment to another.

Episode 05: Targeted Therapy

Stephen lends his experiences and insights to getting ahead of his cancer, saying yes to a newer treatment (ibrutinib), how he managed the side effects, and why he finds it so important to use his voice to help others.


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Other CLL Patient Stories


Tony D., Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)



Cancer details: ~25% of new cases of leukemia, also classified as non-Hodgkin lymphoma (slow-growing)
1st Symptoms: Lump in back of neck that got bigger in a couple weeks
Treatment: Targeted therapy - orall pill (Imbruvica), takes 3 pills a night

Lacey B., Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)




1st symptoms: Extreme fatigue and elevated WBCs
Treatment: FCR chemo and Venetoclax+R

Sean R., Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)



1st symptoms: No apparent symptoms; went to ER for unrelated shoulder pain
Treatment: Clinical trial, Ibrutinib & Venetoclax

Stephen B., Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)



1st symptoms: difficulty swallowing and fatigue
Treatment: Rituxan, Bendamustine, targeted therapy BTK inhibitor (ibrutinib)
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