We got a mixed bag of news today. The bone biopsy turned out better than we'd expected. The doctor had said the disease there would likely be more aggressive than that in the lymph nodes, but it wasn't. It's the same thing. That means Judy won't need the very aggressive form of chemotherapy. Further good (we hope) news is that Judy's going to be part of a "clinical trial." This trial group has 100 people. Judy will be the 100th. Why is this good news? Because the chemo used will not cause Judy's hair to fall out, and she won't have to get a port implanted. Also, the results so far have been very good. One of the complications of Judy's case is that she has two kinds of lymphoma. This chemo will treat both of them.
Treatment begins on Thursday, August 2, one week from today. The bad news is that it's ten hours long. There'll be a session every three weeks for six months. The possible side effects are numerous and unpleasant, though not as numerous and unpleasant as those of the chemo we'd been expecting she'd have to get. Mixed in with the treatments will be a weekly blood check and various other stuff, including CAT scans and maybe an MRI or two. Though the doctor only hinted at it, another bone biopsy is also possible.
None of this is going to be any fun, but we're girding our loins. The bad news, really, is something we already knew. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma isn't curable. It can be put into remission. For how long? The doctor doesn't like to say. Six months would be a not very good result. Three to five years would be a good result, so we're hoping for that. Maybe by that time some miracle cure will have been discovered. If not, it's chemo all over again.
As always, thanks for the prayers, good wishes, and support. I'll do another update next week, maybe even during the session, as the nurse promised I'd have wireless access available in the treatment room. Until then, regular blogging will resume.