Living with Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Living with blood cancer in a “watchful waiting” mode is one thing when you are first diagnosed. It’s quite another several years down the road. You evolve as the years pass, as you figure out how to handle this dynamic. In the beginning, the situation may dominate your thoughts, after all it’s cancer, the Big C.
You may begin to tire more easily, lose weight and have less energy. The night before your regularly scheduled blood test or scan, you might go a little crazy if you have an imagination like mine. It becomes easier as time passes. It’s a very personal quest, this journey of learning to live with your diagnosis. You have to work on yourself. I have found that journaling, prayer, meditation and practicing mindfulness helps. I have developed a philosophy for myself that helps in my striving for happiness and contentment. I have become more empathetic, realizing that everyone has struggles.
I am 72 years old, and this is my 9th year of watchful waiting. I have no idea of when or if I will have treatment, could be in a few months, or more. But I’m okay with watchful waiting at this point. I’ve taken up art, a great way to express yourself and your feelings. I’m pretty happy and enjoying life.
As bizarre as it may sound, sometimes it seems as if the universe has given me some gifts along with this disease. Does anyone else feel this way?
Have you met another blood cancer patient?