Messages to others with lymphoma

The people we talked to offered many different types of advice based on their experiences of having lymphoma. People are all different and what works for one person may not work for someone else. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • A lymphoma diagnosis does not necessarily mean the end of your life; all types are treatable and some are curable.
  • Look after your general health and keep fit; it will help you deal with the cancer.
  • Fight it, don’t give in or lose hope, don’t be frightened, and have faith in your doctors.
  • Think positive, live one day at a time; a positive attitude can help you through the difficulties. 
  • Take some time after you are given the diagnosis to think about what it all means and perhaps talk it over with family and partner.
  • Accept all the help that’s available to deal with the emotional aspects of the illness; try to find someone to talk to about your feelings, e.g. a counsellor or someone who has been through it before.
  • Deal with it in whatever way suits you; don’t be bullied into handling it someone else’s way.
  • It’s OK to feel sad sometimes.
  • Your quality of life can improve despite having a life-threatening illness.
  • Having a serious illness can have positive as well as negative outcomes.
  • Get as much information as you can.
  • Not all chemotherapy regimens are equally bad – don’t be put off by what you’ve heard.
  • Speak out if you’re unhappy about any aspect of your care.
  • If you don’t get on with your consultant, find another that you can trust.
  • Try to maintain a routine during treatment.
  • If you’re in pain ask for something to ease it.
  • If you have hairy arms shave them to avoid the hairs being pulled by sticky pads and tape used to hold a cannula in place.

Knowledge and information

Many people diagnosed with lymphoma had no prior knowledge, or even awareness, of the disease. As one person said, 'they all gathered round and they...