Coping With Lymphoma

Being diagnosed with lymphoma and receiving treatment can present many emotional and psychological challenges.You may experience a wide range of emotions including fear, anxiety, shock, and disbelief, when you learned you have lymphoma. Often, when people are able to learn more about the disease and gain knowledge about the different options they have, they are better able to manage their feelings and the challenges they face. This fact sheet will provide you with information about common areas of your life that may be affected by your lymphoma and your feelings. It will also list questions to ask and resources that may help you throughout.

Common Areas Affected by Lymphoma

Finances

Lymphoma diagnosis and treatment can be expensive. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, you may need to pay for medical bills, hospital bills and medications.You also have to pay for transportation to and from the treatment center, childcare, home care services, and other necessary items such as wigs/equipment.You should speak with your health care team about your concerns.Your health care team can help you during this difficult time by providing valuable information to help meet your financial needs at any stage of your diagnosis and treatment.

Work/School

Some people can continue going to work or school during their lymphoma treatment. Other people may decide that it is best to return to work or school after they have finished their treatment.You should decide which option is best for you. Regardless of what you choose, you need to know that lymphoma treatments can make people feel tired and weak.This can affect your ability to concentrate. It is important to talk with your health care team when deciding what is best for you. Many people are affected financially by their inability to work. It may be helpful to speak with your social worker regarding specific resources available to you.

Sexual Intimacy

Sexual intimacy is an important part of life. Side effects from treatment, as well as your feelings of fatigue, anxiety, and sadness may temporarily change your level of sexual interest and ability to be sexually intimate. Although it may be difficult to talk to your doctor or partner, this is the first step you should take to feel comfortable and get the help you need. Remember, there are many ways to be intimate that can make you feel more connected to your partner. One way to feel closer to your partner is to take a shower or bath together.Another way you can feel close to one another is to give each other foot massages.

Social Support

Social support can play an important role for you. Finding out about available resources and information to turn to in times of need can provide you with a sense of connection to others and decrease feelings of loneliness, sadness and anxiety, while enhancing your quality of life. Social support can come from many sources including: your health care team, family and friends, support groups, mental health professionals (social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists), and places of worship where you practice your religious and spiritual beliefs (church, synagogue, mosque, temple).

Emotional Reactions

You may experience many different feelings as a result of your lymphoma diagnosis and treatment. Some common feelings may include:

  • Loneliness
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Feeling uncertain about the future

Please know that all people manage their feelings differently. Some people prefer to connect with others at a support group or via a lymphoma buddy program. These may help you to feel more connected and secure. You may feel overwhelmed or anxious about your situation.You may also feel depressed. Crying, feeling very sad, and not wanting to be around others may be signs that you are depressed.You should try to be open and honest about your feelings. It can be helpful to discuss your feelings with your doctor, nurse, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist.They may be able to help you manage your feelings and ease your symptoms.

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Here are Some Questions to Ask:

  • What can I do if I can't afford to pay for my treatment?
  • Should I tell my employer that I have lymphoma
  • How much time will I need to take off work?
  • What do I tell my partner and family?
  • Will I ever be able to be sexually intimate with my partner?
  • What should I do if my feelings of sadness and worry continue to bother me?
  • Where else can I go for help?

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Other Resources

There are many other resources and organizations to help you deal with your lymphoma. Some of these are:

Asian American Donor Program
7700 Edgewater Drive, #265, Oakland, CA 94621
1-800-568-3700
Email: asamdonors@aadp.org

Web: www.aadp.org

Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches 

231 E.Third Street, Suite G107, Los Angeles, California 90013
213-473-1663/800-A3M-HOPE

Web: www.AsianMarrow.org

Cancer Care Inc.
National Office
275 Seventh Avenue, New York, N.Y 10001
212-712-8400/1-800-813-4673

Email: info@cancercare.org

Web: www.cancercare.org

Intercultural Cancer Council
6655 Travis, Suite 322, Houston,TX 77030
713-798-4617
Email: info@iccnetwork.org

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