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HIV and fearful
Mar 2, 2001

My brother-in-law has been diagnosed HIV+ since 1993. As of yesterday he has been diagnosed with Lymphoma. He is currently in Seattle at the University of Washington Medical Center. It seems to have attacked his system very rapidly; 3 weeks ago he was fine. They believe he may also have TB. Last week he was vomiting and unable to keep any solid food down. He seems to have entered a state of dementia. They have done many tests;including but not limited to: a spinal tap, bone marrow, CT scans, MRI, etc. Even with the specialists in Seattle they are still unable to pinpoint the additional ailments that he is experiencing. They are hoping to do dialysis today to clean out his blood stream and then begin chemotherapy to battle the Lymphoma. They have been very honest with the family in regards to the fact that we may lose him. I'm sorry I cannot provide you with his cd4 count. I am traveling to Seattle Sunday to be with him. He just turned 30 and my brother is 29; any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated. In an ideal world this would just go away but unfortunately we realize that we need to be realistic and your honesty is what we really need. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Dear caring brother-in-law, As you can imagine lymphoma can be very serious. Often patients do VERY well. It's hard for me to give you an idea of how your brother-in-law will fare without knowing his CD4 count and viral load, and knowing where his tumor has spread. If his CD4 count is relatively good, and he's on good anti-retroviral therapy, and the lymphoma does not involve his brain or spinal column, then he might do very well. Good luck. Please don't hesitate to e-mail me if you need further help. I imagine that within a few weeks, you'll have a much better idea as to how he'll fare.

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