Our latest trip to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston featured a PET scan. It showed two rounds of the high-dose chemo that is the standard treatment for Ms. C.’s refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma have failed to slow, let alone stop it.
Once confined to more than a dozen of her lymph nodes, the cancer has now spread to her uterus, her bowels and her left kidney. It isn’t the end but we can see it from here. The only thing left is a second-line trio of drugs with a high toxicity, risking infection and possible neurological damage, that has only a 30 percent chance of gaining remission for her.
We should know by the middle of November whether it’s going to work. If it doesn’t the docs say she would have no more than six months to live and we should call in hospice to keep her comfortable until the end arrives.