Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor confronts cancer with faith, attitude

Most people don’t look back on their cancer experience with fondness. But Jacqueline Wallace is not most people. The 60-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee, is a wife, mother and registered nurse. She’s also a survivor of stage IV diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I actually enjoyed my time at MD Anderson,” Jacqueline says. “I loved it.” Facing lymphoma with joy During her treatment at MD Anderson, Jacqueline treated her trips to Houston as getaways — bringing enough luggage to make her husband look like a bellhop at a ritzy hotel when he unloaded the car.  “I can’t control that I have cancer, but I can control my attitude, my disposition and my outlook,” Jacqueline says. That meant making MD Anderson a home away from home. The first thing she did upon arrival was accessorize her hospital room from floor to ceiling: with a red carpet, red pillows and a red throw. Jacqueline also ignored the diet most nutritionists recommend for cancer patients, instead opting for prime rib and as much dessert as she wanted. “If this was my lot, then I was going to enjoy it and make it a positive experience,” Jacqueline says. A B-cell lymphoma diagnosis Jacqueline was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma in 2015, after noticing a lump in her groin the day before Thanksgiving. She requested an appointment at MD Anderson while she waited for the results of some diagnostic tests. “I’d already decided if it was lymphoma, I wanted to go to MD Anderson, because that’s the premiere place to go for this type of cancer,” Jacqueline says. Treatment for B-cell lymphoma...