I HAD A LYMPHOMA/33 . Decision Time Approaches.

ATTEMPTING TO SOLVE THE DILEMMA

Thursday looms large in my mind, for that is when we meet Consultant DR CERVI once more and when he will expect me to have made my decision on the High Dose Chemo/ Stem Cell Transplant treatment proposed to give me a better chance of the cancer not returning.

Every day in the past few weeks has been spent seeking further information and advice upon which to base a sensible decision. Research has provided lots of information and some of it has added not to my illumination but my confusion. Direct contact with Charities, Individuals who have undergone treatment and live to tell their tale has been of extreme value, but at the end of it all, I still find my indecision is final! The problem is constant whether it be at relaxed minutes during the day or in the dark hours when sleep has been overcome by the need to find a solution to the problem.

Yesterday saw University Hospital call to check up on where I was currently and I have to return to them next Monday with the result of my consultation with Dr Cervi. The Leukaemia Society called to ask my views on the two ex-patients they had linked me to and were pleased that I had found them both of assistance, even if neither had given me the final piece of this jigsaw through no fault of their own.

IN ADDITION TO CONDUCTING GENERAL RESEARCH, I HAVE ALSO TRIED TO REDUCE THE PROBLEM I FACE TO UTILITARIAN PARTS AND FROM THAT STANDPOINT THEN BUILT UP A SITUATION THAT I THINK WOULD SUIT ME BEST, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY BE AT SOME ODDS WITH THE MEDICS.

This has taken me down the road of producing a couple of A4 sheets to encapsulate my views and which I will present to my Consultant for his views at our meeting. There are two main areas considered. Firstly, I examined Purpose, Proposed Treatment,Key Patient Concerns and Effects during Treatment. Below are my findings:

1. PURPOSE.To extend Remission achieved by CHOP Treatment for T-Cell Lymphoma.

2. PROPOSED. To undertake High Dose Chemo/Stem Cell Transplant at UC Hospital at an early date.

3. KEY PATIENT CONCERNS. a} What isĀ theĀ current mortality rate?

b} What is likelihood of return of cancer, 1} Without Treatment? 2} With Early Date Treatment? 3} With treatment in 6/8 months time?

4.EFFECTS DURING TREATMENT.a} How ill is the patient likely to become with side effects like mouth and throat ulceration, lethargy sickness, diarrhoea etc?.

b } How long elapses before immune system reaches normal level.?

PATIENT PLAN FOR CONSIDERATION.

1. A further PET/.CT Scan to be taken asap to confirm current remission status.

2. If remission confirmed plans for treatment to be held back till July to give body chance of better recovery from recent Treatments.

3. In July a further PET/CT Scan to be taken for Medical Staff to confirm if proposed Treatment or an alternative Treatment should be undertaken.

I am well aware that nothing above is rocket science but as the onus has been placed solely on me, the unqualified person in the whole group, these are the considerations that most affect and concern me. As I have stated many times, the Treatment and consideration I have received throughout has been first class and I am indeed, grateful to all concerned. This stage however, seems to be one where the jury may still be out on the Treatment proposed and in my personal case I feel my apprehensions would be lessened if the effects of recent Treatments had more time to flow from my body and leave me fully fighting fit to take on with full PMA the High Dose etc a little later on. Currently, I still have problems of tingling and discomfort at times in toes, hands and wrists, less than 100% energy and mucus problems that irritate my eyes and chest. These are but minor but in view of the harsh nature of High Dose etc. I would feel more confident without them.

I cannot see any further than this currently but will approach our meeting with Dr Cervi with an open mind, or at least as open as I can get it to be.A full report on the next Hub will disclose what transpires.

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