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Mantle cell lymphoma stage 4

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2017

My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 MCL a month ago. Treatment is chemo plus Rituxan once a month for 6 months. Then bone marrow transplant if needed. Can chemo and Rituxan treat the bone marrow issue too or is it a given that he'll need the BM transplant? I am in shock over this whole diagnosis. He is in great shape. 56 yrs old, weight lifter, bicyclists, eats health and never had any thing more than the common cold. He's had 1 treatment and it's really zapped him. Has his blood numbers checked weekly and they're not moving in the right direction. Should we consider alternative treatments or is this common with the first Treatment? I have so many questions. His faith in God is strong. Believes as the bible says that Jesus took our sins and sicknesses on the cross and will satisfy us with a long life. I have a strong faith too but we keep getting bad news and my mind fills with the what if's. Help!

po18guy's picture
Posts: 1212
Joined: Nov 2011

Mantle Cell can be either aggressive or indolent (slow-growing). Treatment and outcome will depend somewhat on that. However, disregard the stage, as lymphoma staging is entirely different from all other cancers. It mostly directs treatment strategy and not outcome so much. I've been stage IV at least twice. Probably 100 tumors in my lymphatic system, bone marow and small intestine. At last check, it's all gone. Sounds like he is receiving R-CHOP or maybe R-Bendamustine. Either is the way to go with B-Cell Lymphomas. Aggressvie can be chased away for life, but indolent versions may become a chronic illness. Manageable, but always there in the background.

Permit me to lapse from the physical to the spiritual: It is excellent that you have faith. That is the bedrock of a believer's life. A long, pain free life is a popular teaching, but what does the believer do when it does not accord with life? I consider that Jesus predicted pain and suffering for His disciples. Peter and James rejoiced that they were counted worthy of suffering for the Name (Acts 5:40-41). Our Lord told Ananias (Acts 9) that He would show Saul/Paul how much Paul would have to suffer for his persecution of Christ's Body - the Church. As well, Paul made up in his body what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ - for the sake of Christ's Body, the Church (Colossians 1:24). Paul offered his suffering on behalf of others. Imagine that! This is deep theology, but well worth pondering when life seems to turn sour on us.

Paul, in Philippians 1:20 and following, states that it is a far better thing to depart and be with the Lord than to remain "in this body of death" (Romans 7:24) - yet he agreed to continue suffering for the sake of Christ. In such times it is good to remember that, the greater the cross, the more glorius the crown we receive. James 1:12 teaches us to persevere under trial so that we may receive the crown of glory. And, consider Revelation 2:10: "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Christians are called to deny themselves, take up their crosses daily and follow Christ (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23). The cross is universally a negative - pain and suffering. The very first martyr, Stephen (Acts 6), willingly suffered and died at a very young age, as he received a vision of the glory to come. Be thankful that you follow Christ, as the reward will be great. We are baptized into His death so that we may also rise with Him (Romans 6:3-4). And, through our aches and pains, we are kept faithful when we focus on the reward. We are never alone along this path of suffering.

Prayers ascending.        

illead's picture
Posts: 874
Joined: Aug 2012

Please look at the thread "Mantle Cell Lymphoma Diagnoses" from Sheryl.  You will find some of my answers there.  You can also see that we are very positive about going to MDAnderson and it is certainly not too late to get another opinion.  If you are not close to there, there are several other extremely good  cancer institutions and MCL doctors in other cities who are also very knowledgable and passionate to find a cure. NYC, New Jersey, Seattle, St Louis, LA etc.  The point is it is very necessary to see an MCL expert.  Yes chemo/rit will most likely work on the cancer in the bone marrow.  My husband Bill had 90% of his bone marrow involved.  He had Bendamustine/rit, what is your husband's chemo? I would definitely get another opinion though from one of the experts.  I can't stress that enough.  Oftentimes they will work with your oncologist locally. Again feel free to private message me or stay on this string and ask any questions you want.  I know how you feel, it is very scary especially at first.  They have made so many big steps in dealing with MCL, it is not nearly as ominous as it used to be.  In fact the FDA just released another new treatment for relapsed MCL today!.  So try to relax and take comfort in knowing there are some very dedicated doctors who work tirelessly for us.

Thinking of you,


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