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Husband diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Podie1956
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi, everyone! My 66 year old husband was just (July 16) diagnosed with ALCL, ALK-. Luckily a friend of mine was being treated at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and got us an appointment with her oncologist one week later. He has had the endoscopy, CT scans, bone marrow biopsy (no results yet), several blood tests (all look perfect), and is being admitted to Moffitt for 4 days of Hyper CVAD starting 8/7. And they are also looking at an autologous stem cell transplant.

He has had Addison's Disease for 34 years and been on Prednisone since then so the doctor thinks it caused weakening of his immune system after all these years.

Since Moffitt is two hours from our home, we also have a local "liaison" oncologist who is 20 minutes away. She will be checking his CBC counts two weeks after he returns from Moffitt each cycle.

Of all the things I'm worried about (and I retired on May 31 so I have plenty of time to worry!), one of the biggest is keeping things germ-free at home when his WBC count is at its lowest. I keep thinking of that horrible commercial where everything in your house is covered with germs. Do I run around with bleach all day? Banish our cats (yes, I'm aware of the scratch risk) to one room and use hair spray on the bird? (Just kidding on the bird idea!)

Please let me know the best things I can do for him. Thanks!

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3147
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Podie,
Welcome to the group. I think the best thing to do is just use common sense cleaning tactics and definetely keep sick people away from hubby. During chemo I used Chlorox sani-wipes on everything...phone...door knobs, faucets, toilet flusher, etc. I didn't run around out in public very often, but when I did, I carried hand sanitizer and used it often. I changed my pillow case every day, but that's just a thing with me even before cancer. Don't make yourself crazy over the germ worries, but do take common sense precautions. Best wishes, and keep us up-dated on how things go. Sue
(Follicular NHL-stage3-grade2-typeA-Dx 6-10-cancer is stable-age 61)
(see about me page for Bio)

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 997
Joined: May 2012

Podie,

It's great that you have a local doc for the day-to-day stuff. The same common-sense precautions that you would use during flu season should suffice for your husband. I never moved my cats -- I found them to be therapeudic for me, in fact.

Good luck with the rigorous treatment he is in for,

max

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1971
Joined: Aug 2011

Hello Podie and welcome to the site.

In addition to what the others have said, you might want to have
some gloves and masks on hand for him in case he or you need them.
Hand sanitizer as Sue mentioned is good - larger sizes any place
where he might eat/snack, smaller pocket size in the car, and to
take if he goes out. Keep in mind hand sanitizer does not protect
against C-Diff but the old stand by of soap and warm/hot water does.

I assume uncooked/undercooked foods are not recommended until he's
in the clear.

I found a couple links for you:

Cleveland Clinic

eHOW

I hope things go well and you know you are welcome here anytime.
Please let us know how you guys are doing.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

Podie1956
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2012

Just found out his bone marrow biopsy was negative! We are currently inpatient at Moffitt awaiting the start of chemo. Cyclophosphamide for three hours every 12 hours for three days. Vincristine days 4 and 11. Dexamethasone all 4 days. Adrimycin (spelling?)on day 4. A spinal infusion on days 2 and 7, Neulasta on day 7. My husband says he is ready to "slay the dragon."

It sounds like an incredible amount of drugs, but I guess we'll know in 42 days if it's working. The staff is amazing so far so I have great hopes. Thanks for listening, you guys!

Podie1956
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2012

My husband Rich completed his first CVAD cycle at Moffitt on Friday with no side effects other than water retention in his legs (no doubt from the Dexamethasone). He had his Neulasta shot yesterday with no side effects other than the feeling of a slight film on his tongue. It is not affecting his taste so he's still hungry a good part of the time!

Aside from Dexamethasone on days 17-21 and one infusion of Vincristine on day 17, this cycle is on its way to being DONE! I know his WBC counts are dropping (we have blood tests on Monday and Thursday) and I am worried about infection, but we walked two miles and stayed away from people today so hopefully we can keep that up.

I just want to say thanks to all of you on this board. You keep me from being alone!

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1971
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Podie,

That is good news! It sounds like he's handling things very well.
Exercise is good as long as he doesn't overdo it.

I'm so glad and thanks for the update.

Hugs,

Jim

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3147
Joined: Jul 2010

Sounds very good to me Podie...anytime he feels good enough to walk 2 miles...well, thats just great! I know I sure didn't walk that far when I was getting treatments! If his counts stay low, keep away from crowds and take precautions. Thank you for sharing how your hubby is doing. Best wishes...Sue (FNHL-2-3A-6/10)

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