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BC survivor, now NHL

Survivor613
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2007

I am a 71 year old woman diagnosed in December of 2006 with low grade early stage NHL. It presented with 15% involvement in the bone marrow. No solid tumor. I had 8 rounds of Rituxan and another bone marrow biopsy in May 2007. Showed improvement down to 5% involvement. Will continue on Rituxan maintenance quarterly and have another bone marrow biopsy in November. Onc feels I may be sensitive rather than resistant to the R. Hopefully. If the R doesn't clear it up, the onc is considering using Zevalin early next year. All in all I am doing really well as far as treatment goes. Between treatments I have been able to travel and cruise.

It doesn't seem fair, but I am a 13 year breast cancer survivor. Isn't one cancer enough. Enough pity party. I was treated at that time with adriamycin, 5FU and methotrexate, radiation and tamoxifin. Had a really hard time with it. But since then have had a good life.

As a Reach to Recovery volunteer I always tell the women I meet with that it is alright to cry, scream, be angry, throw things, etc. I am angry myself now and have trouble taking my own advice. My husband is wonderfully supportive, but has trouble accepting my emotional swings. He is happy as long as I have a smile on my face. And we know that is not always possible.

alihamilton's picture
alihamilton
Posts: 344
Joined: Jan 2004

I rarely check in to this board as it is rather slow! However, I am so sorry to hear that after battling breast cancer 13 years ago, you now have NHL. It certainly does not seem fair! I wonder if the treatments you were given 13 years ago contributed to the NHL? I have read that some chemos can cause other cancers later on...we cannot win, can we?? I am so glad you are tolerating treatment well and can also enjoy life as well. Of course, you will have moments of doubt and fear...we tend to keep smiling to keep others happy but we also have to validate how we are really feeling!

I have Stage 1V follicular lymphoma, presently in remission, and my husband was dx Stage 111C rectal cancer four years ago today, so we have also had our fair share of cancer!

All the best to you,

Alison

Survivor613
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2007

Thank you for your support and reply. Yes, I have often wondered if the chemo 13 years ago is not a culprit in the NHL. No it is definitely not fair. It is good that you are in remission. Hopefully the researchers will find the cause and cure for our cancers in our lifetime. From what my oncologist says, this can happen.

Thank you for validating my right to be afraid. Only someone who has been there really understands.

Take care. Iris

CarlWilton's picture
CarlWilton
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2007

Has your oncologist explained why he wants to use Rituxan first, and Zevalin only if the Rituxan isn't effective?

I was diagnosed with both aggressive and indolent NHL, stage 3. Had 6 rounds of R-CHOP, went into remission, and now I've recently relapsed - but only with the indolent NHL (no sign of the aggressive, larger cells I once had). I've been reading about Bexxar and Zevalin, and am finding that more and more experts are recommending radioimmunotherapy drugs like these as early treatments, rather than later.

Survivor613
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2007

Thank you for your reply Carl
I believe that the standard treatment now is 8 rounds of Rituxan followed by 2 years of quarterly Rituxan or 1 round of Rituxan plus Zevalin. He feels that since my NHL was diagnosed very early stage he wanted to try Rituxan first. He was quite confident that it would put me into remission. Unfortunately it didn't. He felt at that time that using Zevalin might put me at risk for other problems somewhere down the line. There is only data for about 9 years and he feels that I have a longer life span than that. He is known for his aggressive treatment options. I have the utmost confidence in him.

I wish you well in your journey.

ep246
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2005

my name is donna i live in picayune,miss i have NHL and now in remissison now 2 years was dx.in 12/05 just a little after katrina.how long have u been in remission before u relasped?i was treated with the r-chop.i appreciate ur letting me know.i still feel so new at all of this..thank u and god bless

dawn06
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2007

Well it sounds like you are doing well. I pray that you continue to improve. And keep on traveling and enjoying your life. I am a NHL survivor, but just have also relapsed. Just waiting for my biopsy to see if it's the same or different to determine my treatment. You take care and keep on moving

SBaker22
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2007

Dawn, sorry to hear about your recurrence. I also had NHL 7 years ago, then recurred in Dec. '06. I had 3 cycles of RICE then a stem cell transplant in May. I am in remission once again and feeling good. How long since your last bout with NHL? Do you have a plan yet to fight this recurrence? Good luck and God Bless.

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