Mike C NJ Basketball Coach Takes on Cancer

When Central Regional High School basketball coach Mike Clemente was diagnosed with a type of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he turned to Monmouth Medical Center for his life-saving treatment.

A young, energetic high school basketball coach and a competitive athlete, Mike Clemente of Toms River, trusted Monmouth Medical Center with his health. When a tumor was discovered in his chest cavity, Mike did exactly what any good coach would do – called in the best players to ensure the best outcome. He credits his oncologist Dr. Seth Cohen and the skilled, compassionate team at Monmouth Medical Center with playing an active role in his physical and mental recovery after a devastating cancer diagnosis.

In his words…
“I was diagnosed last year with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma. I had a tumor the size of a softball in my chest cavity and it was putting pressure on the arteries around my heart. Even though I was still active, deep down I knew something was wrong. It was becoming very tough to breathe and I felt like I was trying to pick up a 1,000 pound weight when doing things I would normally have no problem doing.

I did feel sorry for myself the first day, but I knew I needed to be strong for my family. My wife and daughter mean the world to me and I had to be there for them. I knew I needed to face this head on and Dr. Seth Cohen and the team at Monmouth Medical Center helped me do that. Dr. Cohen is a wonderful person and a tremendous doctor. He gave me a plan and said I would beat this and I believed him. We were focused and determined.

I immediately started an aggressive chemotherapy regime to fight this aggressive cancer. I spent five days at Monmouth Medical Center getting chemo for 24 hours a day. Then I went home for 16 days. I did this cycle six times and it was not easy. During the dark days and toughest moments the team at Monmouth stayed positive and kept me in good spirits. The nurses were tremendous. They knew exactly what to do at the right time. They were always there for my family, even celebrating my wife’s milestone birthday in my room. That meant a lot.

My last scans were all clear and I am so grateful. You never think something like this can happen to you. I am glad Monmouth Medical Center was there for me when it did.”

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