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Am I going to lose my friend to NHL?

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2005

My friend was diagnosed last monday with NHL type B. We are both 21. She began her treatment on Thursday. She's receiving CHOP chemotherepy. I'm seeing a whole different person, and i am taking it really hard. I cant even fathom how she is feeling. All i can do is cry because i dont want her to go through this alone. What can i do to make her bad days a little bit better. She was so positive in the beginning and it seems her spirits are fading fast. She still says maybe i'll feel better tomorrow, but we are only a week into it.
What are her chances of staying in remission?
So many questions, and no one to talk to...hope you guys can help me help her.
Does anyone know what the life expectancy is of someone who develops NHL at 21?
Thanks for your help.

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi Michelle,
There is so much that they can do for NHL. I was 39 when I was diagnosed and I was scared to death. My best friend since we were in diapers was also scared to death. She would cry when we talked but along with each others support we both made it. I kept her updated on what was going on the good and the bad. She would ask alot of questions. When I felt better we would meet for dinner or a girls night out, which helped a great deal. I can say the most important thing to me was to know that she was there for me along with my family. I knew I could count on her and if I got a little negative, she would give me a pep talk however sure when she would try to get me to think positive, I would think to myself, yeah right you have no idea but I knew she had my best interest at heart. Stay positive for her and be there for the good and bad. What also helped me and my family was they did research also. It helps them to understand it much better. So maybe educate yourself on good websites though. There is so much information out there but go to the ones that you can count on. Your local health dept. maybe have some information for you that will have good websites. I like this website, lymphma and luekemia society, lymphoma foundation. You can also get free materials from some of these websites. I did that and also went to the library. I try not to look at the outcome I just take one day at at time and make the best of it. I know it's hard for you to see her this way as it was for my husband, step daughter and also my family. My family took turns taking me to chemo. I think this helped them to understand how I felt and it also let them know that I am ok, just need to get through the chemo. Keep her positive. I'm here if you need to talk anytime.
I will keep her in my prayers and you too.

Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi, my name is Jim, i was diognosed with NHL when i had just turned 17 and was given 6mnths to live, 6 recurrances later and im stll here, when i first started chemo, i was allergic to the only anti neasea meds that were available [australia] maxalon and stemital, so i was very, very, ill and looked like a prisoner of war because of all the weight loss.Im 43 now and still fighting, sometimes i get really fed up and wonder what it would be like to live a normal life but just like the anti neasea drugs, treatment is getting better all the time,,never give in,is my moto.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2005

I was much older - 59 -when diagnosed. That was in 2000.
I did belong to a really good support group which really helps.
If your friend began CHOP a week ago and she is anything like I was ... this is going to be about her worst day. It will start to get better until about a week after her next treatment.
Remember I am going on five years! Another member of my support group is at seven and a half years.
Does that help?

epperson525's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2005

I was 24 when I was diagnosed. Each treatment got easier as far as the side effects go. I went into remission after just 4, but got 6 total. The remission rate is high. Be positive. I know it's hard sometimes. I had days when I wanted to quit, but you find the strength and you fight. Mine was type B stage 2 in my chest. Feel free to contact me. Her days will get better.

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2005

I am 53, was diagnosed with NHL stage two the begining of March 2005. I went through 5 sessons of "Chop chemo" the pred. I had with the IV's & the pills I took, really played with my emotions.
One minute I was happy & two seconds later I was very angry. My oncologist warned us about the personality chages, this really helped my husband understand why I was acting this way. The only thing you can do is be very positive with her, hold her, listen when she wants to talk. Don't respond to her anger!! Walk away, give her time to think, then come back. My worst days during chemo were usually four days after, then maybe one week later I started feeling better. Is she getting a nuelasta shot the day after chemo? This really helped me with building up my white blood cells. Also before treatment I took anti nausea pills & the night after & the next day. This really cut down the nausea.

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2005

Hi Michelle,

I am 23 and 1 month in remission from chemo treatments for NHL. I live back at home where I grew up with my best friend (we've known each other since Kindergarten) and I have to say that in the beginning, she was great, coming by to visit me all the time, posting funny pics of us in my hospital room, bringing board games to play with me and DVDs to watch (I had to spend 1 week in the hospital every 2 weeks). But slowly, she started to fade from the picture and it was my family that really supported me no matter what through the whole experience. I'm not sure if she just didn't know how to deal with it or just got back to her job, life, boyfriend, etc. but my advice to you is to be there, through everything, for the whole time. And if you dont have the time, just manage to fit in a short minute just to call.

It was also really helpful for me when my friends and family did their own research and passed it on to me, it made me feel like they really cared to understand themselves what was going on with me.

NHL is very treatable, and with your friend being so young, she has a great chance of surviving. I'm not sure exactly what type she has, but I had B-cell Burkitt's NHL and my recovery rate was 90%. Try not to worry, be open with how you feel to her, and just be there through the whole thing, you will do great.

Please feel free to contact me.

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