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Hi and welcome to Connect. You didn’t actually ask a question but my guess is that you’re wondering about your new and unexpected diagnosis of SMZL. Getting news that you have cancer is something no one wants to hear.

You have a rather rare blood cancer in the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma group. It’s a type of B-cell lymphoma that affects the spleen. But the good news is that it’s slow to develop and responds pretty favorably to Rituximab which you’ll be starting in a few days.

I’m sure you have some some questions about your infusions coming up. Rituximab or Rituxin is not chemotherapy. It’s an anti inflammatory drug that targets the overgrowth or proliferation of lymphocyte B Cells in your marrow. I’ve had Rituximab infusions for a different situation requiring my B-cells stop acting like a gang of thugs in my body! The 4 infusions worked really well and did the job with no side effects at all.

The first infusion appointment the nurse will most likely slow the infusion rate which can take up to 2 hours or so, depending on the dosage. Often they administer some Benadryl or prednisone while you’re having the first infusion just to make sure your body tolerates it well.
It works quietly in the system over the course of months to keep the B-cells suppressed. Gradually your spleen should get back to normal size and hopefully your night sweats disappear.
While you’re having the infusion, it’s ok to take snacks along, a book, iPad, music, etc., to keep yourself amused. Usually an Infusion center will also have televisions in each room. You’ll be tethered to an IV machine but they’re battery operated or can be unplugged to let you walk around the IV unit or to use the bathroom.

I did a little searching to see if there were any good articles to explain your SMZL and found one from a lymphoma organization in the UK. This link is pretty easy to follow without going into all the technical details. I think you’ll get a better understanding of why your spleen is enlarged, and a bit about your diagnosis and traditional treatments.

I also found these links to several conversations in our Mayo Connect groups.


I know this is unsettling news for you. But your cancer is treatable and was caught early. Do you have any specific questions you’d like answered?

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Replies to "Hi and welcome to Connect. You didn’t actually ask a question but my guess is that..."

This was so helpful, I have a great oncologist, but am seeking a 2nd opinion at Mayo to satisfy my nursing due diligence.