Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed in 1997 treated with chemotherapy (CHOP). First recurrence treated with high dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant. Second recurrence treated with intensive chemotherapy and rituximab.
He had three urinary tract infections in late 1996 that the urologist suspected was caused by his left kidney, which was small and found to be barely functional. During surgery to remove the kidney the surgeon found it surrounded by tumour, which he biopsied. This and other tests proved the tumour to be a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was started on a chemotherapy regimen called CHOP, which forced the tumour into remission.
Three years later he experienced pain in his right arm. After a course of physiotherapy that had no effect, he was referred for tests that revealed a recurrence of the lymphoma at the top of his spine. An operation was performed to remove one of his vertebrae that was surrounded by tumour. Unfortunately he acquired a type of MRSA infection in the spine as a result of the surgery and received treatment for the infection at the same time as chemotherapy for the lymphoma. High dose chemotherapy was followed by a transplant of his own stem cells which had been harvested earlier. Altogether he spent four and a half weeks in hospital in a special isolation room under strict conditions of hygiene.
After a remission of four and a half years he discovered a swollen lymph gland in his neck. A biopsy of another lymph gland in his back proved that the lymphoma had recurred again. He was put on a course of eight cycles of a chemotherapy regimen called PMitCEBO accompanied by a monoclonal antibody called Mabthera (or rituximab). At the time of interview he had just completed treatment and was awaiting results of tests to find out whether the tumour was in remission.