Mar 07, 2003 - 9:28 am
My husband, 49 years old, was dx with aggressive, high-grade stage 1 NHL last summer. He presented with pain in the left lower back and it became increasingly severe over a 3 week period. At first they thought muscle problem (we play a lot of tennis and had just returned from a vacation) then kidney stone, but a CT scan finally showed an area of enlarged lymph nodes in the left retroperitoneal (near the kidney, deep in the torso). A needle biopsy confirmed NHL but there was a disagreement form the pathologists as to whether it was diffuse, B-large-cell or some other kind. The decision form our local onco and the team at Dana Farber where we went for a 2nd opinion was to treat it with 6 rounds of CHOP without Rituxan and they all thought it would disappear. The theory is that the more aggressive the cancer, the better it responds to chemo.
9 rounds of chemo later (4 chop, 2 ice, 2 hyper-CVAD and 1 CVAD)we are preparing for an unrelated donor stem-cell transplant. The tumor has proven to be chemo-resistant and goes away, but returns in a matter of days to its original size between treatments. We are now attempting to reduce its size using radiation in order to get it into remission as much as possible for the transplant.
I know his chances are diminishing each time the tumor returns, but is there anyone out there who has faced this dilemma? I am pinning my hopes on the transplant but fear the tumor will comeback even after. I desperately need some words of encouragement about now. Thanks..