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Bill: Diagnosed with significant bone involvement; 
 successful treatment with CHOP+ Rituxan with Maintenance Rituxan

Last update: 02/08/2007

I was diagnosed in January of 2002 (46 years old) with follicular NHL that had significant bone involvement (left femur and pelvis). My initial symptoms were leg pain, the result of a pathological fracture of the left femur due to the lymphoma.

Prior to treatment, my doctors elected to have my femur strengthened by putting in a titanium rod, which goes from my hip to my knee. (This wonderful device also came with a personalized 14 inch scar down the outside of my thigh, which is always a conversation starter at the local gym.) I'm surprised that your son-in-law's doctors mentioned wait-and-see, especially with the bone metastasis. Perhaps they only meant wait and see what the lymphoma committee recommends.

I was also stage IV, with 40% bone marrow involvement, along with active lymphoma in my spleen and nodes in my neck, abdomen and groin. (I had enough malignant nodes that my doctor figured I could spare a few, so he took some out.)

My initial treatment regimen was 8 rounds of CHOP + Rituxan, with maintenance Rituxan continuing every six months for two years. I also received monthly infusions of Zometa until just recently, to strengthen my bones. After going into remission, I had my stem cells harvested for any possible future need for a transplant. (The "harvesting" was a simple procedure, kind of like dialysis, and did not involve any farm machinery.)

I did have a scare about a year ago, when many of the "B" symptoms started recurring (night sweats, weight loss, fatigue, pain, etc.) but it turned out to be Grave's Disease (is that a creepy name or what?), or a hyperactive thyroid gland. We showed it who was boss, and killed it with radioactive iodine. Now I get another nice little pill to take every day. Big Pharma loves me.

Five years out, I remain in complete remission (CR) and no longer receive any treatment. While not exactly the same case as you describe, it's worth noting that the bone involvement  can be beaten back with the proper treatment (drugs - not herbs!)

Bill, NY (nhl-follic)

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