Although chemotherapy greatly improves the chances for a cure, side effects can be serious. The drugs may cause temporary or permanent sterility, an increased risk of infection, potential damage to other organs, such as the heart or lungs, and reversible hair loss. Sometimes leukemia can develop 5 to 10 years after chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease. There is also an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or other cancers such as lung, breast, or stomach cancers 10 or more years after treatment with chemotherapy drugs; the risk may increase further when a person is also treated with radiation therapy.
A person who has a remission (with the disease under control) after initial treatment, but then relapses (lymphoma cells reappear), has less of a chance for long-term survival. The cure rate for people who relapse ranges from 10 to 50%. Among those who relapse in the first 12 months after initial treatment, cure rates are somewhat lower, whereas the rates for those who relapse later tend to be somewhat higher. People who relapse after initial treatment generally are treated with additional chemotherapy at usual doses followed by high doses. This is likely to be followed by autologous stem cell transplantation, which involves using the person's own stem cells (see Transplantation: Stem Cell Transplantation). People who relapse more than a year after initial treatment do not always require stem cell transplantation. High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation is generally a safe procedure, with less than a 5% risk of death related to the treatment.We don't know what God has in store for us for the future, nobody really does. Life is precious and it can end at any time. It may be from cancer, or it may be even more unexpected like the recent metrolink crash. We are thankful that we know our God and have a relationship with Him and can trust Him no matter what. We also have the hope of heaven which has been so comforting. Today we are rejoicing in our good news and praising Him for the health that He has chosen to give us, and that He has carried us through and given us so much peace in the midst of a trial for the last 9 months.
Matthew 6:33 :But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow;for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Here are the lyrics to a song that praises God in the midst of storms.
There's a tempest that can flood the soul
When troubles pound like crashing waves
In these afflictions I have realized
There's a place that I can hide
I know that God has promised me His strength
And His Word can never fail
He is faithful, Oh so faithful.
There are Sovereign hands holding all my days
Yes I know God reigns in the storm
Every trial and pain wisdom has ordained
Yes I know God reigns in the storm, in the storm.
There's a midnight that can fill the soul
When the darkness has no end
And though it feels like I am all alone
There's a truth that gives me hope
I know the One whose counted all my tears
And He is nearer than my breath
He is with me--always with me
There's so many things that I don't understand.
But I know His every plan for me is good, so good.
(Steve & Vicki Cook)