CHARDON, Ohio (WJW) — It is the latest weapon in the battle against cancer.

On April 1, the FDA approved one type of CAR T-cell therapy to be used earlier in the treatment journey for some patients with advanced lymphoma, when chemo is no longer an option.

“I was lost at sea,” said Kelly Queen, of Chardon. “And there was a shark in my ocean.”

Journaling her cancer battle has been therapeutic Queen.

It was back in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, when Queen, 54, said her body was telling her something was wrong.

“I was waking up early in the morning with severe pain in my abdomen and it kept progressing like every day to the point where as soon as I would lay down to go to sleep, the pain would emerge,” she said.

After returning from her 25th wedding anniversary celebration in the Florida Keys, the mother of three said she got the news that would change her life.

“I walked onto the lymphoma unit at the Cleveland Clinic and I was diagnosed with Stage-4 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” she said.

Two excruciating rounds of chemo did not work, and Kelly thought death was imminent. That is, until doctors here at Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center suggested she undergo a new, FDA-approved treatment called Car-T Cell Therapy.

And this is how it works.

A sample of a patient’s t-cells are collected from the blood, modified in a lab, then the Car-T cells are re-infused into the patient, where they latch onto a patient’s tumor cells, killing them.

Queen had the procedure done last April, said Dr. Brian Hill, her physician.

“She was pretty sick for a while there. But she went through the treatment well. And she’s in what we call complete remission and she’s been off treatment and in remission ever since,” said Hill.

“It went in through an IV, took just 20-minutes,” said Queen. “They told me they want you to be sick. If your body is having a reaction that means it’s working.”

After two weeks, Queen’s scans showed that her cancer was gone.

She’s now back to doing the things she loves, like walking her dog Coco, and living life to the fullest, told best through her own words.

“When all hope seemed to be gone, and the shark was ready to pull me under, the beach finally appeared,” she said. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The cure found me and there is no longer a shark in my ocean.”

Car-T has been proven successful for most blood cancers, like lymphoma and leukemia.

But the technology is currently being investigated for all cancers, including lung and breast cancer.