Re: My dad has Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, Low Grade, Stage IV
As cardshark suggested, everyone responds to cancer treatments in various ways. I’m a little over three years out from stage 2 grade 2. Just turned 68 last month and PET/CT then was still clear. Had no particular symptoms other than nodes in left armpit and left neck popping up. Did CPV-R and showed clean for six months. Then went on Rituxan “maintenance” and stayed clear for a little over 3 months. Next did radiation thing to left side of chest and neck, which seems to be holding. Last spring, decided I’d be around long enough to justify getting an annoying cardio problem fixed.
This is my third cancer adventure. Prostate in 2001 was fixed by surgery. Multiple skin cancers also done by surgery. Other than the biopsies, my fNHL has been just chemo and radiation. The cardiac ablation for AFIB was the easiest (they just make three little holes for the catheters). I’ve entered all of my numerous medical interventions with the expectation of success in staying around for at least another 10 to 20 years and you should encourage your dad to have that same expectation.
While I do NOT believe cancer can be “willed” away, I do firmly hold that “state of mind” can significantly affect the outcome of treatments involved with any form of cancer. I will not lay down (very long) for any of the debilitation involved with any of the chemos, radiation or surgeries required to keep these old bones moving.
As to the “quality of life” you speak of: the CVP-R thinned my hair out for some time but it came back OK. Although, it seems to have a longer term affect on my memory (or perhaps it’s just geezer accumulation in the brain cells) as I’m still having occasional difficulty getting a word or memory straight. On the plus side, the associated sickness goes away after the cycles are complete. The radiation treatments were significantly less than pleasant but I was assured that mine was an unusual reaction. The hair loss from that adventure appears to be permanent but since it’s on the back left side; I can’t see it and few people have had the moxie to ask about it, so I don’t care.
You can help with encouragement, but ultimately it’s up to your father to carry thru with treatments and fight the fatigue and unpleasantness associated with them. After three successful (so far) Big C encounters, my wife and sons expect nothing less from me and I try my best to accommodate. I expect you dad will do the same.