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treatment confusion

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2006

My 80 year old mother has recently been diagnosed with Diffused Type B Large Cell lymphoma. Two different doctors have reviewed her case with two very different opinions. One feels she is too weak for chemo and believes Rituxan will be sufficient to control the disease. The other agrees she is weak but does not believe Rituxan will be effective, he recommends an older form of Chemo which she may handle better. What to do?

Lilly731's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi Bob...

I wish I had a simple solution for you, but of course, I don't. I am in no way a doctor--just a caregiver to my hubby who has Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. Let me tell you about his experience with both Chemo and Rituxan.

First of all, Rituxan is cell specific, so it only kills the bad cells (amazing!). My husband does not have any side effects with this, but his first treatment was terribly hard. His body wanted to reject it and therefore, he was very sick. After he got through the first one, it has been smooth sailing!!

Chemo is very easy for him to get, but it is the one that causes the side effects AFTERwards. You know--the whole "naseaus" thing. So, for us, both Rituxan and Chemo have positives and negatives.

My advice is to make sure you ask questions to both doctors and most importantly, ask your mother what she wants. If her mind and heart are in it,then she will be able to handle either one just fine!!
Praying for you,

donaldo's picture
Posts: 36
Joined: Nov 2006

You've probably chosen the treatment plan by now, but if you haven't, I'd like to suggest both. That may sound stupid but Rituxan is one of the most gentle treatments but not generally a stand alone treatment. If they start with the Rituxan until the cancer shrinks abit and she's stronger, then they can slowly add the chemo as a second line of attack on the cancer. Rituxan is compatable with most forms of chemo.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2007

boob44 -= I have just found the survivors network on my computer. I'm assuming your mom had already begun treatment. I am 76 and was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma last April. My treatment was the Rituxin. I wasn't given much of an option as the doctors thought I wouln't be able to take chemo. I am in pretty good condition for my age, so I know it wasn't that, but I guess it was my age alone, not anything else that determined it. But along with the Rituxin I have to take a Thalomid (thalidomide) capsule every night and will as far as I know for the rest of my life. I couldn't breath, or walk when I first was diagnosed, but have come a long way since. It can't be cured, I understand but can try to contain it. I'm back going from the south shore to NH (driving) to visit my kids and grandkids again. Let us know what your Mom decided. Good Luck.

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