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Our Friend has Lymphoma

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 831
Joined: Mar 2013

Our dear friend and well loved, long time coworker, of my husband has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He wasn't feeling well and was going to his family doctor. I don't know what kinds of symptoms he was having as he is a very private person. I do know that his blood work revealed that he was anemic. His doctor ordered a CT scan. 

The scan showed blood clots in his lungs and he was admitted to the hospital immediately and started on anti-coagulants. He also received 3 units of blood. This is his 5th day in the hospital. In addition to the blood clots, the scan also showed many enlarged lymph nodes. In these few days, he has had a lymph node extracted for biopsy, he was transferred to the oncology unit where he was given a bone marrow biopsy, an echo cardiogram, and a PET scan. Yesterday, he had Rituxan, this morning, he was scheduled for port placement, then was to have CHOP. That is a lot to happen in 5 days!

As of last night, he was unsure of exactly what kind of lymphoma he has nor did he know his chemo. His nurse told my husband his chemo was R-CHOP. Our friend said the hematologist/oncologist said something like an intermediate B-cell non-hodgkin lymphoma. You know how overwhelming it is to try to take in all this information after you have just been told you have cancer. 

My husband and I have been surprised by how upset we are about this diagnosis. Part of it is, it brings it all back to us--what we went through. And we don't want to see this man we care about so much to have to go through it. He is a single man so will have no support at home. We will continue to "be there" for him throughout.

Blessings,

Rocquie

 

 

Cocamoxb
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2016

I first was told I had DLBCL. The day I went in for my first RCHOP, my onc received my biopsy results as double hit. That changed treatment to DA-R-EPOCH because it has shown better results with DH vs regular RCHOP.

 

So far I'm out 12 months from dx, 9 months from chemo. 

 

He should make sure he gets a FISH test on the biopsy. 

 

I'm not quite the expert as some here, just my 2 cents. 

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 831
Joined: Mar 2013

I agree with you about biopsies. My own diagnosis changed when my biopsy was sent for a second opinion at Duke University. Their testing did include FISH studies.

However, I don't think it is helpful to offer unsolicited advice and ask nosey questions, especially when the patient has been diagnosed less that a week. He knows we care for him and he knows what I have been through. If he has questions or doubts, he knows I will try to help him.

Thanks for your reply. I am very happy that you are doing so well.

Rocquie

 

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 837
Joined: Aug 2012

That's terrible, I'm so sorry, that is just way too much to process in such a short time, he must be very scared.  We all know how quickly most lymphomas respond to chemo, to me the blood clots are more worrisome at the moment, I hope that gets under control too.  He is very fortunate to have you and your husband as supporters, I know you will be there for him.  I am so sorry you are going through this too but down the road I know you will both feel happy and comforted that you were able to help a friend.  Try not to let it get to you too much, ie past memories of your battle, rather know that you are a blessing to him.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

May you find strength,

Becky

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 831
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you for your very sweet reply. You always know just what to say--brought tears to my eyes. I hope Bill is feeling better and that you are getting the help YOU need. As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They are coming right back your way. . .

Your friend,

Rocquie

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3293
Joined: May 2012

Roc,

You know as well as the rest of us that Lymphoma discovered late is not usually much harder to beat than disease discovered early, just more chemo for later stages.

I had disease everywhere in the chest and abdominal region, but it was over two months from my first CT until I got the first drop of chemo. I asked my oncologist about this one day, and he said that I had likely had the disease so long that the two months were in essence irrelevant.

The worst part sounds to me like the fact that he is alone.  Bless him with whatever support you can provide,

max

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 831
Joined: Mar 2013

I believe, because our friend was so sick and in so much pain, his doctor thought it was urgent to start treatment right away. I was also very sick with B symtoms and started treatment quickly, though not as quickly as our friend. In fact, I was so sick, I felt like I was going to die if I didn't get help soon. (I am not being dramatic--I really thought that). I was afraid to go to sleep for fear of not waking up again. 

We are concerned about his being alone. But as I mentioned, he is well loved, and has a lot of friends. He also has close neighbors to keep an eye on him. He has his church. And he has us. I won't spend the night with him, but my husband might if it seems needed. I will surely cook for him!

Thanks for your response.

Blessings,

Rocquie

 

 

po18guy
Posts: 994
Joined: Nov 2011

And it is part of our human nature: that of being more upset over someone else's situation than they are themselves. You have enough on your plate, but you can be of invaluable assistence to a dear friend in such a case. I say, do not protest that life is not fair. If life was fair, everyone you know would have cancer. Let's be thankful that it is only the few that we know of who must fight the fight. The rest of us can help with the wisdom we have gained during our journeys.   

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 831
Joined: Mar 2013

My plate is not that full. It has plenty of room to help our friend. I have a different take on the "if life were fair" quip. I have always said "If life were fair, we would all take turns going to the Bahamas". Smile

Thanks for your reply,

Rocquie

 

 

OO7's picture
OO7
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2014

Dear Rocquie,

 I'm sorry for the late response but I've been off the boards for much of what you wrote about.   Originally it just became very difficult reading about posts and all I did was think about my father, my roller coaster ride was fine but then my grandmother and two patients I work with and my most recent hardship .  My daughters gym teacher and track coach was diagnosed with cancer at the same time I was, she just passed away two days ago and I'm having a very difficult time getting my head around it and perhaps it's a bad case of survivors guilt. 

 As a member of this horrible club.    One of the better things about having cancer is how we rally for one another, we know what to say and when to say it, know what to do and what not to do.   When I was diagnosed with cancer then my father and then hiding it from everyone my cancer counselor told me that it was like having posttraumatic stress times three. 

This journyey is a hard one and as long as I have read your posts I can see how lovely you are.  Quick to help and always there.  As hard as it is your kindness and compassion will help, I'm confident of that.  

Blessings and Peace

 

 

P.S.  Please excuse the spelling as this has been dictated 

 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2015

Sorry to hear about your friend. I just hope all goes well with his treatment. 

About 14 years ago a co-worker who was diagnosed with multiple meyloma. He foguht for 11 years.  One of his coments was "The cancer club is the greatest group of people that no one wants to be part of.".

 

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