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R-DHAC Update

Shoopy
Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

Hi all,

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 Smile).  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!

Karl

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3151
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Karl,

  Heck no you didn't "drool on"..(your words)! I always appreciate it when a member shares in detail what is going on in their cancer treatment. It sure sounds to me like you received a lot of good news, well worth celebrating! You will probably have to wait a few weeks to do so since you just had a treatment. My first line chemo treatments..CVP-R were done in one day, usually lasting 7 hours. I never had to get any shots to boost my counts, nor did I require any blood tranfusions. My chemo was mild in comparison to yours. I hope next week won't be too rough for you. Keep us posted on your SCT, we are always here for you.

Take care and best wishes...Sue

P.S Be sure to share if you stumble across any little green men at area 51! Wink

(Follicular NHL-stg3-grd2-typA-Dx 6/10-age 62) In remission

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 484
Joined: Aug 2012

I knew everything would be brighter when you went to Roswell, thank goodness.  I hope you celebrate this weekend, that is just terrific news, and we appreciate you sharing it with us. I know you are ecstatic and so are we for you.  You're on your way!!!!!  I know we all wish you the very best.

Thank you for such good news, Becky

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1977
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Karl and thanks for the update!  Good news so far and thanks also for reminding us of focusing on the positives.

Now, your PA/Nurse Practioner isn't grey with big slanty eyes is she ;)?  Just be careful of the special "probing" these guys do Surprised.

Hugs - Jim

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 465
Joined: Mar 2013

Karl, this all sounds so encouraging and positive. Thank you so much for giving such helpful and hopeful details. I always love to hear good reports about my friends here at the site. Going through all this together truly is a bonding experience and one I am thankful for.

Go ahead and enjoy the energy from your "performance enhancing drugs" (steroids). I'm glad you have taken your Claritin for the Neulasta pain--it sure helped me.

Wouldn't that be great if you could move right into SCT with no more chemo?

I hope you have a nice cozy bed ready for when your rollercoaster ride comes screeching back down hill (after the steroids wear off). Smile

Big (((hugs)))

Rocquie

 

Shoopy
Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

You guys are the greatest!  I don't think I was acting cycnical with all the good news this week but I certainly wasn't appreciating the good news the way I should have been.  You guys reminded me to do so!  I have my 22nd wedding anniversary tomorrow and while I won't be taking my better half out on the town...I think I need to make sure we carve tomorrow out for some sort of celebration.  Of course, the kids are at the Cape with their cousins so a nice night at home watching some good movies and a good meal might just do the trick!

I also need to take a step back and thank The Big Guy upstairs for listening to me and being there for me. 

I'll keep you posted heading into next week.  Peace and hugs to all!

Karl

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