Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

Lymphoma Non Hodgkin's Cancer and Personal help needed.?

by Lynn S Member since:

November 23, 2007

Total points:

369 (Level 2) I just received news that my 60+ year old brother-in-law has Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in stage III or 2 1/2B-3B stage, whatever that means. He apparently went to the doctors for a colonoscopy per my sister's request and the doctor found 3 polyps, removed them and did a catsacan finding ??Polyps throughout his organs??? Cancer spread into his lymphnods and organs throughout his body.

If you read a previous question and answers under my question section, you will find out more about my situation. I haven't talked to my sister who is 47 yrs. old since the beginning of August due to finally getting up the nerve to walk away and leave her volital behavior for the 1st time in my 49 years of life. It's a looong story which you can read in previous ?'s I've asked in regarding to my situation. To make a long story short, she called every family member including my parents, lied about what happened blaming me for what she actually did not to mention lied about my childhood, etc., turning the family against me. The only person in my own family she talks to or actually will talk to her is my 23 yr. old daughter. My parents email her telling her the news of my brother-in-law. My sister called her crying hysterically. No one has contacted me at all to tell me anything.

My daughter was told there is no cure and that it has spread all over his body. My sister was never able to bear children so she's extremely, extremely devastated. She cried to my daughter that this was her biggest fear. Losing her husband, being alone, not having children of her own to be with her as she grew older. My parents are having a house built in Arizona close to her which won't be done until April. My sister told my daughter that if her husband passes away before our parents move down to Arizona in April, she'll have no one.

My daughter called me crying saying she's TORN!? She has tried to get me to reconcile with my sister and parents for the past 6 months meaning she wants me to apologize for the falling out even though I was not responsible for the arguement. She said it doesn't matter. I should apologize and be the better person to make peace in the family especially now that my sister is going through the cancer with her husband. She said again she is so torn because Auntie has no children if he dies while I have 3 children. He is much older than my sister and she chose not to adopt or have invetro fertilization.

My ?s are: How serious is this type of cancer?

Is it treatable?

How long do patients have to live if it's supposedly in their organs and lymphnods?

He hasn't had a 2nd opinion should he get one?

Could he pass within a month, 2 months, a year, or what?

Are there any organic, natural alternatives to treatment?

What is the success rate?

Can you survive if the cancer is in the lymphnods and organs?

Sorry for the questions and questionable information about his health, my sister and my situation, and stupidity. It's hard to know anything when my parents won't return my emails and say I'm not allowed to contact them until I'm ready to apologize to my sister. Until then, they say I no longer have a mother and a father. It's hard because my daughter seems to be slowly distancing herself with me because she feels sorry for my sister. I do too but it's been 49 years of drama, arguements, manipulation, verbal, emotional, and physical abuse not to mention dishonesty. I feel so bad for my sister and brother-in-law and what they're going through, but if they wanted me to know anything, they or the family would have contacted me themselves. It's hard to know what the truth is when you get 2nd and 3rd persons information.

Please know I'm sincere with my concerns and questions. Any information you can give me to give to put my mind at ease would be greatly apreciated

Update:

My daughter FINALLY forwarded the email my parents sent her about my brother-in-law's cancer. It's called Follicular Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer). I'm doing research on it so I can hopefully understand it better. I did send him a card and my husband did as well. Since my parents have disowned me becuz I won't apologize to my sister (which my counselor told me I've been a victim of Emotional Blackmail all my life...) they have not contacted me and refuse to have anything to do with me. I will send a card to my sister just letting her know my thoughts and prayers are with her, but that's as far as it will go for me. She knows the truth and so do I. I am focusing only on her husband right now as it is his health and well being we should all be concerned about. Again, this is not about her but about his health.Thanks to those who have responded to my question. If you have anything more to say about this cancer and him having tumors on several organs in his body please let me know.

5 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't know whether or not I can put your mind at ease, but I can perhaps help you to become a bit more informed.

    To explain the staging- lymphoma is staged as I,II, III, or IV. Stage I means that the cancer is confined to one lymph node in the body.

    Stage II means that it has spread from the original lymph node, but that the lymph nodes to which it spreads are on the same side of the diaphragm.

    Stage III means that it has spread to the other side of the diaphragm (ie it has moved from the abdomen to the chest or the chest to the abdomen).

    Stage IV means it has spread to other organs in the body. If your brother-in-law indeed has stage II or III, that means that it has not yet spread to other organs. However, based on your description of there being cancer "all around his body," that would certainly be stage IV.

    The notation of "B" simply means that (as opposed to "a" which may be asymptomatic), he has a number of symptoms such as fever, weight loss, sweating, that are characteristic of lymphoma.

    Please know that EVERY lymphoma is treatable and people have gone into remission with every type of lymphoma. Therefore, there is no reason to lose hope. The best hope for killing most kinds of cancer cells is chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there are no known natural cures for cancer, but there may be some natural substances that help with pain or some of the symptoms of cancer. I would ask an oncologist who is familiar with alternative therapies some more about that. Chemotherapy and radiation are terribly difficult procedures, but unfortunately they are the only things that can kill most kinds of lymphomas(except for a rare few that have a specific mutation that respond well to specific targeted drugs).

    Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the average prognosis of his lymphoma without knowing more specifics about it. The prognosis depends largely on

    1) The stage (which you seem to know)

    2) What kind of cell it effects- Lymphomas can be grouped into 2. One group consists of lymphomas that originate with a problem in a white blood cell (ie B cell, T cell or neutrophil). Another group of lymphomas are metastases (break off pieces) from another organ (such as the colon) and need not be blood cells, but can be cancerous tissue from any organ.

    3) What the specific mutation in that cell is- some are much more curable then others. This refers to what kind of change happened in the genes of the cancerous cell that keeps dividing. For example, a cell can have a mutation in which pieces chromosome 9 and 22 trade places or pieces of chromosomes 15 and 17 trade places. The doctor does tests to determine what the mutation is and some have better prognoses than others.

    Depending on what happens with your sister, perhaps a bunch of family members can meet with the doctor so you can all learn about the cancer, and what choices and difficulties the family will face, and how everyone can help. It sounds like your sister is not sharing her difficulties. Unfortunately, many people often suffer the burden of cancer, whether as a patient or family member, very isolated or alone.

    If it is the case (unclear from your post) that this is a case of cancer that STARTED in the colon (meaning those polyps were not benign) and spread to many other organs in the body, the prognosis could (but not necesserily) mean that he will live less than 6 months, as a spread of cancer to many organs is very serious and difficult to cure. However, even if your brother in law's prognosis is not good, remember that hope doesn't only refer to hope for a cure. It can also mean hope for a peaceful "rest of their life", for lack of pain, the ability to spend one's last days at home, hope for a caring family, and the knowledge that their family will be able to recover from any possible devastation.

    Perhaps, through your daughter, you can express to your sister that, even if you haven't been on the best of terms, you are happy to help in any way you can. I would perhaps just send a card stating as such. You can even send some food, clothing, or hire a maid service from afar, if that is financially feasible. Any expression of a desire to be there for her I'm sure will be appreciated.

    I wish you and your family all the best!

    Source(s): I'm a medical student
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    My mother-in-law was diagnosed last year and she is doing just fine. There is no trace of cancer to date. She had 6 chemo treatments that were administered 2 days per week every three weeks. Non-hodgkins is very treatable and has a high cure rate. There are drugs now that seem to help with side effects from chemo. The worst part about it for her was the worry and the fatigue from the chemo. Also when she went to the bathroom, it was kind of nasty the first day or 2 after receiving treatment because your body is getting rid of all of that poison. Odds are very much in your favor that your mom will be just fine too. Knowing that, it is still not an easy thing to deal with, though, but you will get through it and be able to move on before you know it. All the best to both of you.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My dad had hodgkin's in around the same stage, I'm not sure how similar they are, but he was alive for a year after being diagnosed, then he was cleared..followed by a sudden passing due to pneumonia. The chemotherapy weakened his immune system.

    Not sure if the story helps but it shows there is some hope.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Most lymphomas, esp NHL, are incurable. They are treatable. At his age, odds are he will die WITH lymphoma, not from it. The goal will be to keep it under control so that he can live out his life. There are many options. Chemo is one, so is stem cell transplants.

    I was stage 4 NHL. That was 2 years ago. Although its back, its still under control. Thats life with NHL. They "watch and wait" and hold off on chemo until it become symptomatic. Then they beat it back and buy you another year or two.

    I am currently preparing for a stem cell transplant.

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    1 decade ago

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