Daisy (not real name) was 42 years when her problem started around July/August 2012. She found lumps in her arm pit and groin. The lumps grew bigger. She went to a private hospital. A biopsy was done. She was told she had peripheral T cell lymphoma, Stage 2.
Daisy underwent 6 cycles of chemotherapy — CHOP regimen. The treatment cost RM 40,000 — paid for by her insurance company. She suffered severe side effects: nausea, vomiting, mouth ulcers, numbness, loss of appetite, chest pain, constipation and hair loss.
Daisy said she almost died after 3 chemos, but she managed to complete the scheduled 6 cycles by January 2013.
Chris: Before chemotherapy, did you ask the oncologist if the treatment was going to cure you?
Daisy: The oncologist said, “There is a 80 percent cure rate.” It was just a Stage 2 cancer.
C: You believe that?
D: Yes and I was happy!
Everything went well for Daisy during the initial stage after the completion of the treatment. She went back to work. Unfortunately, soon afterwards she found a lump in her left arm just above her elbow and also swelling of her axillary lymph nodes, but she did not tell her doctor. She thought there was nothing to worry about since she had just completed the treatment. However, during the second follow up she told her oncologist about the lump. In July 2013, Daisy had surgery to remove the lump in the arm. Histology confirmed recurrence of the T cell lymphoma.
A whole body CT scan was done on 30 July 2013 and indicated the following:
- There are bilateral multiple mildly enlarged cervical nodes which are increased in size when compared with the previous scan. The largest node measures 14 mm.
- Bilateral mild to moderately enlarged axillary nodes have increased both in number and size since the previous scan. The largest node the left axilla measures 13 x 8 mm.
The oncologist told Daisy that she had no other option but to go for BMT – bone marrow transplant. She would need to undergo 4 cycles of high dose chemotherapy followed by an autologous transplant.
C: Can BMT cure you?
D: The oncologist said the cure rate is 50 to 60 percent.
C: You believe that? Previously he said chemo would give you an 80 percent chance and you had a recurrence.
The BMT procedure would cost RM 100,000 and this would be paid for by the insurance company.
C: So, that’s free treatment, why don’t you want to go for it.
D: I am afraid I would just die. My father and mother are still alive. That’s why, I don’t want to die before them.
C: I understand, if your father has to bury you … no, I don’t like the idea either.
C: How many sisters and brothers do you have?
C: What did they say?
D: All of them do not know what to do.
C: Good to have sisters and brothers like that. At least they don’t fight among themselves for trying to be too smart.
Now, go home and decide what you want to do. After you have made your decision, there will be a lot of people who will say this or that!
Don’t worry. Learn how to take care of yourself. Go home. Pray that God will tell you what is the right thing for you to do. Don’t eat anything you like. Above all, be friends with your cancer. No need to fight with the cancer.
For more, watch this video.