No to Rituximab Maintenance

posted in: Cancer 0

Today’s blood test showed red cells at 121, platelets at 455 and white cells at 5.7. ‘Things are looking good at the moment’, commented the specialist, adding that the numbers may improve further with time.

We asked about the likely plan after chemo: they’ll see him 10 days after chemo ‘as usual’, then 2 weeks after that and if all is well he’ll be seen in the clinic rather than the cancer unit 1 month after that.

The numbers indicate that he’s responding clinically, may improve a bit further but they’re ‘happy with these numbers’. ‘Fingers crossed this will continue for a few years’, Doc commented, adding that they would assess how husband is doing after the 6th chemo.

When Husband was first diagnosed and the plan was to start chemo within days Doc mentioned the possibility of maintenance Rituximab so I asked if they were going to consider it. ‘We do give maintenance Rituximab but not for this kind of cancer.’ He was in a rush but I really felt like I’d been slapped. If he had said ‘It’s not appropriate in this case’, ‘the benefits are inconclusive’ or even ‘I’m sorry we wouldn’t have funding’ I would have understood. I would just appreciate a brief ‘why’. Instead I felt like a school child that had asked a question the teacher didn’t want to hear. Of course this is a massive over reaction because the guy really was hideously busy.

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