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)