My Disease - Lymphoma as a Chronic Illness

Some types of lymphoma resemble chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease, in that patients are living longer with them. As with other chronic illnesses, this means that while your lymphoma cannot be cured, it is closely watched and treated when necessary. Living with lymphoma as a chronic illness is not so much about getting back to normal as it is learning what is normal for you now. Your new normal may include making changes in the way you eat, the things you do, and your sources of support.

Sometimes chemotherapy and/or maintenance therapy is prescribed to control the lymphoma and other times, you are able to take a break from treatment and remain under the supervision of your healthcare team, who will monitor you for changes.

If you have completed treatment, you may be relieved and excited about this new chapter in your life. On the other hand, you may also find it hard not to worry about your future health.

Even those who are not cured of lymphoma do live productive lives for years. Some types of lymphoma can be controlled for a fairly long time, so it is important to remain hopeful and get the help that is available to you.

References:

American Cancer Society. When Cancer Doesn’t Go Away
Accessed May 22, 2014