Lymphoma is the 5th most common cancer in UK. It is a type of blood cancer that develops when white blood cells, which help you fight infections, grow out of control. The abnormal white blood cells can collect in lymph nodes in the armpits, neck or groin so people often notice a lump there. There are many different types but it is nearly always treatable & most people live for many years following diagnosis & treatment. We asked Lydia about her experience of being diagnosed with follicular lymphoma.
“When first diagnosed you feel uncertainty and shock and sadness. Sadness mainly for those loved ones around you. You don’t want them to hurt. But they must know. Make sure you tell them how you feel. You need their support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as your lifestyle will change, especially when having treatment. It’s important you prepare for any sickness during treatment: Thereafter as you improve you can live a normal life. Take care of yourself, rest when you have to. Don’t feel guilty as you will feel ill some days during treatment. Eat good healthy meals. Pamper yourself. If you have hair fallout, shave your head when you see hair falling in the shower or on pillow. There are plenty of lovely scarves to wear. Cancer Relief supplies you with a wig too. These can be very attractive. You can also go bare with large earrings! The hair will grow again! It was comforting to receive extensive info throughout from doctors and professionals. There are also booklets with all the info. Speak to others with cancer as this will help you to understand it too. Ask questions. Most importantly, write them down so you don’t forget when visiting the doctor.
Should you not feel well at times do not hesitate to contact your doctor. Don’t leave it for tomorrow. Cancer Relief has excellent after care at their Centre. Contact them. The nurses there will give you the support you need. There are also loving volunteers that you can speak to and enjoy a cup of coffee. Above all just get on with it”.