Harley Bradley is a retired firefighter who lives with his wife
Betty at their home in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. He is also a
two-time cancer survivor.
About a week after his 65th birthday and shortly after finishing
treatment for prostate cancer, Bradley was diagnosed with diffuse
large b-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of his left maxillary
During a routine hearing test with Craig Nystrom, MD, an ear,
nose and throat doctor at St. Francis Regional Medical Center,
Bradley happened to mention that sometimes when blowing his nose,
blood would come out. Dr. Nystrom took a look and immediately
realized that something was wrong.
Bradley attributes his success in beating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
to the fast work and attention of Dr. Nystrom.
Bradley was impressed with how quickly the test results came
back and the diagnosis was made. Initially, it was thought that he
had Stage I lymphoma, an early form of the cancer. But further
testing showed that he had Stage III. The cancer was not only in
his left sinus, but also an area in his back and in his stomach.
Fortunately, his bone marrow was free of disease.
As a firefighter, Bradley was used to seeing death and
destruction and was trained to compartmentalize it. He had not been
afraid of the prostate cancer, but things were different the second
time around when diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
This time, Bradley was not sure what to expect. He wanted to
learn more about his second cancer diagnosis and tried searching
Overwhelmed and unsure of what information he could trust
online, he decided to take Dr. Nystrom's advice and follow up with
Joseph Leach, MD, medical director of St. Francis Cancer
He put his trust in Dr. Leach's hands and underwent six cycles
The hardest part of treatment for Bradley was not feeling up to
visiting with family and friends. Fortunately, Bradley responded
well to chemotherapy. After his first treatment he noticed that the
lump in his mouth had completely disappeared.
Almost a year later, Bradley was feeling like his old self
again. He enjoys chatting with friends on the golf course and
spending time with his family.
As Bradley says, "Cancer changes the way you look at
After battling cancer twice, he feels that his life is a gift
and he is grateful for the support of his wife, family, and
If Bradley could depart one bit of wisdom, he says he would urge
everyone to get regular check ups. Early detection is key to
St. Francis Cancer Center 2008 Annual Report
Timothy Sielaff, MD, PhD, FACS, president, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute