Diagnosed With Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: What Comes Next?
A lymphoma diagnosis can impact every aspect of your life — it's vital to educate yourself and be prepared to limit the negative impact. Dr. Gwen Nichols of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society shares what to expect after a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis, as well as how friends and family can help navigate this challenging time.
Dr. Nichols: Newly diagnosed patients should, number one, make sure that their diagnosis is the correct one. Be sure that they understand the diagnosis, and that both you and your physician feel comfortable you've got it right. Then you should get to LLS and learn about that diagnosis, learn about the new treatments that are available, learn about what to expect when you get your treatment.
You don't understand until you've gone through it, or been through it with someone else how overwhelming a cancer diagnosis can be in terms of how it affects work, how it affects your personal life, how it affects your outlook on the future and what you've planned to do. Because you have to stop everything else and take care of understanding your lymphoma and that unfortunately, has to come first even in the midst of other things happening in your life.
The treatments and their side effects are very important to understand too so that people can plan for work, for all the important events in their life, so that the low times after therapy, or the times when you might not feel 100% are not the times when you're gonna be at your daughter's wedding, or traveling, or have a big work assignment.
If you talk to your doctor and the staff about that, they can help you with, well, it's safe to move the treatment out, move it back, and understand the tempo of the treatment so that you can plan and have a good and event-filled life along with treating your lymphoma.