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Confused about chemo dosing; Loss of chemotherapy as a security blanket
Mar 2, 2001

Dear Dr Dezube, I just want to thank you with all your great information on cancers. I've asked many questions of you in the past and you have always given me a clear insight.Thank you.I just completed chemotherapy for Advanced NHL. My oncologist treated me with Adramycin; Methotrexate; Vincristine; Cyclophosphramide; Bleomycin and Dexamethasone.He held prednisone as I have had adverse effects to this drug. I am now in remission and my last dose was last week,this may sound strange but chemo became a security blanket for me,while on chemo -- no lymphoma. I get worried when i read that some people are treated with CHOP at full strength. I am confused was my chemo effective in stopping the lymphoma.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Thank you for your kind words. Your comments about chemo being a security blanket are quite common. You are not alone in feeling this. As a consequence, we oncologists, wean patients from oncology visits in a gentle fashion. It is not easy to go from getting yourself psyched up to come in weekly and then all of a sudden, you need to come in much less frequently. It's a challenge to reconnect with the mainstream of life; many of my patients rise to higher spiritual levels after their diagnosis and treatment. I wish you such a spiritual journey. As for the dose, it was quite routine for AIDS lymphoma patients to be treated with reduced dose chemotherapy for many years (early and mid 1990s). They did quite well. I have many many long term survivors who got "half-dose" chemo. It is true that now-a-days most people get full strength. In all likelihood you'll do well. It's important that you work closely with your HIV doctor to keep you viral load suppressed. That's more important than the actual dose of chemotherapy.

So congratulations for making it through the course of treatment.


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