The Cancer Journey: Extra Info
Reposted from denisetam.webs.com December 28, 2009
In recent days I've been confused about chemo and whether or not I should be putting my body through it, especially since chemo is essentially not a cure.
BUT after speaking with my doctor again he pretty much spelled out that chemo should be my only option, though technically there are other options.
In short, this is what he concluded:
~ it's serious
~ it's in my blood, so the seriousness of it is more like leukemia (i didn't realize that it was in my blood when he told us this in our previous consultation, i misunderstood him thinking it was found in the blood from my bone marrow test)
~ my condition is an advanced stage 4
~ we could try other weaker treatments but he believes in the end we would have to go through chemo
For those wanting to know more, below is a little bit of info taken from a doctor's database called "Up to Date"
"5 and 10-year overall survival rates range from approximately 50 to 90 percent" (with the use of Rituximab)
"Patients with advanced stage disease areusually not cured with conventional treatment. While remissions can beattained, repeated relapses are common. Treatment focuses on thealleviation of symptoms and improvement of quality of life."
"Once therapy is indicated, immunotherapy-based treatment (eg, chemotherapy plus rituximab) is preferred because it results in superior response rates, progression-free survival, and overall survival."
"Progressive disease is defined by an enlarging liver, spleen, or lymph node mass or by the development of new lesions,signs, or symptoms." (It seems like mine is progressing then?)
"The progression of follicular lymphoma (FL) tothe more aggressive variant diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)occurs regardless of whether FL is treated aggressively orconservatively, at a rate of about 3 percent/year, depending upon themagnitude of the large cell component. "
The following will be my specific treatment:
R-FND (Rituximab + fludarabine + mitoxantrone + dexamethasone)
The doctor says it is not as harsh as the other ones. If I don't respond well to this one we can switch to a different one.
This week I will be resting lots and preparing myself both physically and mentally for chemo.
As the start of chemo gets closer i find it harder to stay positive and keep my faith in God. Some hours are better than others. It's usually when I first receive bad news, that fear breaks me down and i lose focus of what I can do with the cancer that is in my life.
I'll need lots of prayers from everyone this and next week so I want to thank everyone in advance.
that I can stay strong
that I can use this gift from God wisely
that I can remain thankful despite the side effects I may be feeling once chemo starts
for my family's strength to see me through this
that God will be my anchor for strength, peace and comfort
That's all for now. Nighty!