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?

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  • Anthony Carrone moderator
    7 months ago

    Hi Texananana, I love that you have picked up so many ways to keep yourself striving for happiness and contentment! I found many of the same things help me enjoy life and keep me happy – especially the art and meditation. What kind of art have you been working on? I wanted to share with you a couple articles our advocates have writen about journaling and another about watchful waiting. Thank you for sharing your story! -Anthony (Team Member)

  • Anthony Carrone moderator
    7 months ago

    Also, I want to connect you with @bobtalisker who wrote the article attached above on watchful waiting. He may be able to weigh in on your question! Best, Anthony (Team Member)

  • Bob McEachern
    7 months ago

    Hi Texananana (great screen name!). I do have days when it seems like I have been given gifts, along with some days that it definitely does not seem that way. Those rough days were more frequent soon after I was diagnosed. I was less patient with the world then. Much better now. Probably the biggest gift is that I find it easier to say No. There are things I want to do, and things I don’t want to do, and I have learned to focus my time and energy on the things I care about. I’m glad to hear you are doing so well on Watchful Waiting, staying happy and healthy and enjoying life. I wish you many more years of that.

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