2000 – Relapse #1

2000—First recurrence diagnosed

I was told the recurrent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was the “B” cell type with both follicular and mixed cell lymphomas. Again, my entire lymphatic system was involved, but this time the cancer was predominate on my “left” side.

I was given two cycles of Rituxan along with DHAP, which took approximately three-months to administer.

Rituxan

Rituxan® (rituximab) is a monoclonal antibody that is often given along with chemotherapy.

Note: Rituxan was a new treatment option that was introduced at the end of 1997, and was available for my oncologist to use.

DHAP Salvage Chemotherapy

DHAP is named after the initials of the drugs used.

  1. D: Decadron® (dexamethasone)
  2. HA: Cytosar® (cytarabine, Ara-C)
  3. P: Platinol® (cisplatin)

Additional Treatment Planned

It is my understanding that the medical standard of care, for a patient who experiences their first relapse, is for them to undergo a bone marrow transplant (BMT), or a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. That was the plan for me.

Please take time to learn more of the details about these two procedures by visiting: Information About Bone Marrow Transplants

After my treatment regimens were completed my oncologist referred me to the University of Kansas Cancer Center where I met a new oncologist who would be responsible for doing my transplant. However, after I finished the complete battery of tests that are used to qualify a patient for a transplant, my new doctor decided not to do a transplant at this time. Even though I had passed all of the tests, he merely sent me back to my oncologist for him to continue to monitor my case.

Why I Didn’t have a Bone Marrow Transplant

In my book Once Was Not Enough: a story of hope in the heartland I tell the story about being sent to The University of Kansas Hospital for a Bone Marrow Transplant. You may find it interesting to find out why the doctor sent me back to my oncologist instead of going through with the transplant.