Aug 01, 2013 - 8:02 pm
Been a long week and wanted to give all an update. If you remember last I have DLBCL and went through 2 R-CHOP to no avail. My spleen shrunk only 50% and a PET scan showed new nodes in neck, groin, and arm pits. My doctor referred me to Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Area 51 as someone on here called and I've been calling it ever since ). My new doctor wanted retests on bone marrow, node biopsy, cardio echo, and pulmonary tests. The new plan, unless tests show differently, is 3 cycles of R-DHAC and stem cell transplant. So here's what happened Monday:
Met with doctor for test results. Bone marrow still negative (yeah!), stem cells are fine (yeah!), in fact he said the stem cells were "favorable mix for stem cell transplant, and no other cancer present other than the DLBCL (yeah!). Good news!
As planned, he sent me to the outpatient for 3 hours of rituxin. It went fine. I had about about an hour of chills at home but that was probably because I hadn't had rituxin in about 4-5 weeks. Tuesday I was admitted to Area 51 to start the rest of the chemo. They alternate the two drugs. One for an hour--the other drips for 10 hours. I was discharged Thursday at noon. As of this moment...I feel pretty good (probably the steriods). I return in the morning for a quick neulasta shot (already took my claritin 24 hour). They also have me returning Tues/Thurs/Sat for blood test and blood transfusion if needed. Obviously, next week will be the 'rougher' week as the chemo will hit it's highest.
Before I left this morning, the doctor's nurse practioner stopped in to check me out. She was very happy to feel the lymph nodes in my neck and arm pits have already shrunk. I told her I was happy however the lymph nodes shrunk after the first R-CHOP too.
Then she told me more good news. Since Area 51 is also a research/academic center they tested my biopsy at the DNA level. Test results showed that I was "standard risk". The doctor will explain more to me next week but basically it is the lowest subgroup of DLBCL. It means a favorable impact to the SCT and, more importantly, a lower chance of recurrance after the SCT. I literally sat there and wept.
So...taking one day at a time. Next treatment is August 19th. Doctor plans to do a PET scan after that treatment. If cancer is gone...he may move me right into SCT...if not we'll go with 3-4 treatments.
As most of you know...this is a rollercoaster ride blindfolded. I'm feeling pretty good with a week full of good news...but trying to stay level headed.
I know some of you were very interested from my last post and wanted updates...I hope I haven't drooled on.
Talk you all soon! God bless each and every one of you!