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Round 2 as a caregiver....yikes!!!

Posts: 38
Joined: Dec 2010

Three weeks ago my husband went to the doctor for chest pains. He was sent in for x-rays and then a CT. Large mass in his chest 9cm x 9cm x 9cms. Had a biopsy 3 days ago we just got the call that it is a large cell lymphoma. He has an appointment on 10/31 with the oncologist.

This is surreal to me I lost my 40 yr old sister on 2/25/11 to ovarian cancer. A week after her funeral my father-in-law moved in with us, he suffers from vascular dementia. The week we finally decide to place him in a nursing home because of the progression of the dementia, we get the news of this mass in my husbands chest.

Don't know of the exact type of lymphoma nor staging but if anyone has any info or advise that will help me please let me know.

My husband is 51 yrs old and prior to these last 3 weeks very healthy. Right now he has a lot of nauseau, night sweats, pain in his head when he lays flats.

I've creeped these boards during my sisters fight and it was such an inspiration to me reading the posts.

Any info would be appreciated :)

catwink22's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Sep 2009

Sounds like you have really had a rough time this year, so sorry for what you are going and have been through.

It's hard to say exactly what to expect without knowing the type or stage, but I can say Non-Hodkins is VERY treatable and there are many long term survivors, encouraging news!

The good thing right now is that he IS diagnosed. You may want to know that a high percentage of NHL is at Stage 3 or 4 when found, so don't be surprised or lose hope if that's what he gets staged at.

There is also a "grading" that goes with the staging. I have stage 3, grade 1, which means I have it in all my lymph nodes, but it is very slow growing and non-aggressive. Sometimes they do a "watch & wait" period if the NHL is low grade.

This may be too much information for you right now and some things may not even apply in your husband's case, but there are good reasons for you to be optimistic.

I wish you both the best and hope you come back and let us know how you guys are doing.

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Welcome back and so sorry you have to be here again.
It sounds like you've been through enough with your sister and
father-in-law. So sorry you lost your sister.

It would help to know more details - the type and sub type of lymphoma
and the staging. It's helpful also to put that information in the "about me"
section so those with similar experience can respond.

I just finished chemo for Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma diagnosed
as intermdiate aggressive (fast growing). I had 6 cycles of R-EPOCH
chemo therapy and the PET scan after cycle 4 showed no cancer activity
so we're optimistic :).

In general, lymphoma is very treatable and even
curable. There are many success stories on this website
so there's lots of hope!

You will find wonderful support and caring people here
and others will respond soon.

Big hugs,


JoanieP's picture
Posts: 573
Joined: Mar 2010

So sorry to hear about your terrible year. Cat's information was right. Lymphoma is certainly not a death sentence as my Dr. put it. The waiting for the diagnosis is the worst. There are plenty of good options . May God bless you and your husband. Joanie

Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2011

Dear Ditzy, I am so sorry for your loss of your sister and your situation with your father-in-law, and now your husband's diagnosis! You have quite a full plate there, and my thoughts and prayers go out for you and your family!
But as Jim and the other kind people have noted, Lymphoma is treatable. I was "cured" of stage 3, NHL. Back when I had it, my actual diagnosis was stage 3-E, Large cell, undifferentiated, NHL. Prognosis: Poor.(they have changed the severity, to numbers, now) but I was given less than 6 months...that was 28 years ago! I beat the cancer and all the side effects of the chemo. I was given "CHOP", nine cycles.
So I just wanted you to know that anything is possible! So, please take a deep breath, relax your tensed muscles and take things one day, one moment at a time, because there is always HOPE!

Posts: 38
Joined: Dec 2010

For all your replies it really gives me hope and also my husband I made him read your posts!

He never knew I went to this site when I was dealing with my sisters cancer. He's a good man but as a woman I needed to talk A LOT about my feelings and this site was my outlet.

He saw the outcome of my sisters cancer and then with his Dad it's like another death because mentally he died so I think he was just assuming the worse. You're stories give us hope, not that it's gonna be easy but I am positive he can beat this!

Once again thank you, god bless to all of you still fighting and those that have beat this!



jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

You guys are very welcome. Please let your husband know he is welcome to
post here also. Sometimes spouses use the same login for their posts but
he may want to create his own.

Your oconlogist office should inform you of what to expect in regards
to procedures and treatment. If you have any questions about these things,
we can share our experiences and knowledge.

Anxiety is probably very high now. I was prescribed an anti-anxiety
medication shortly after diagnosis by my regular doctor. It really took
the edge off the worrying and also helped me sleep a little better.
Your husband might want to consider this.

It's normal to worry and be afraid, especially now.
Just know we're here for you guys. We're not doctors or pyschologists but
we have experience with this as patients and caregivers.

Oh, a word of caution on researching stuff on the Internet. It can be
very useful but be aware a lot of info out there is outdated.
Take statisics with a real grain of salt. The cancer journey is different
for each individual though there are many things in common. Just because
one person had a certain side effect, doesn't mean your husband will.

When the research is scaring the crap out of you, STOP. You need all
the positive energy you can muster for the journey and battle.
A positive attitude and humor are easy weapons you can use during this.
Just ask anyone here - I'm the "kid clown" :). I'm 54 years old and picked
"Jerry Mouse" as my avatar - does that give you a clue?

Please visit often and let us know how things are going.

Big hairy (well, when it grows back) hugs,


Posts: 38
Joined: Dec 2010

I showed this site to my husband, that's what we need is positive refinforcement.

With my sister and his dad it's so sad and we were expecting the worse.

I can't go to the darkside right now i will only think of the best. Posts like your JimWins are what we need.

Blessings to you Jim (he's already bitchd about them shaving his chest for his biopsy(

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