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I need your help...

leahmarie
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi, my name is Leah and Im 17. In 1997 my stepdad was diagnosed w/Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was in very bad shape when he was diagnosed. They found tumors, and inflamed lymphnodes in his neck, his groin, under his arms, and in his spleen. He went through many ,any treatments, and we tried everything . But eventually the cancer just took over his body, and no medicines worked. My stepdad was the most positive role model in my life, and when we finally did lose him in January of 2001, it was horrible. I saw him in a way that I did not want to remember him in. Because of him I have become the person I am today. I attend Poland Regional High School in Poland, ME, and I am doing a large project that we are required to do at the end of our sr. year. I am researching: WHAT IS NON HODGKINS LYMPHOMA, AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT ITS PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES? If any of you could please respond to this, or email me back at Juliet_aee@hotmail.com, I would really love to hear your stories. Please, because in doing this project, and maybe understanding what exactly he was going through, it might add some sort of closure. Please reply back.... Thank you sooo much!

sdevilbiss
Posts: 41
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi Leah, I'll get back to you after the holidays with as much help as I can give you. sorry for your loss. Have a good holiday and will communicate with you soon. Sandee

pastrychef
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2002

I am so impressed with your resilience and your emotional fortitude. That you chose this topic in light of your recent loss is amazing to me. You must be of tremendous support to the other members of your family.

My wife struggles with Type B cell Lymphoma. Since she was diagnosed just more than twelve months ago she has received twelve sessions of chemo therapy, through three different regimens. We have hopes that she will qualify for a stem cell transplant. That remains to be decided. You may want to include a segment on treatments that complement chemo therapy. Reference Cancer.gov, marrow.org and the NIHS. Stem cell transplantation has been around for about twenty years, but only used for lymphoma patients for the last five years.

How has lymphoma affected us? I am sure that our situaton parallels yours.

My wife has her good days and bad. Mostly bad. The chemo makes her very ill, and very weak. And she suffers a lot of pain. But she has inner strength and a determination to fight. There are moments when she weakens, and says she can't stand it any more, but those moments fade, and she always tells the doctor that she is ready for the next round.

You must appreciate the feelings of compassion that I feel for her. I cannot feel her pain, but I can see it. I try to comfort her, but I cannot. The most I can do is hold her hand, and pray.

Our lives have changed so much that nothing is the same as it was. In terms of our relationship, we are closer and more communicative than we have ever been. We are also more affectionate, more tolerant. Previously we would do things separately, now we do everything together. When I am working in the yard, She is there with me. And I find that I actually enjoy shopping, most of the time.

Our emotions change with the wind. Some mornings I wake up in sweaty desperation, and at other times I feel cheery and thank God for one more pleasant day. But there is no time in my day when I am not thinking about the illness, attending to our schedule, reviewing the medications, learning about the illness. It occupies my days and my nights.

If you have specific questions, let me know.

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