Part I: Living with Lymphoma
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UV part i Living with Lymphoma LearnIng you have cancer Is never easy. Different people have different reactions: some are devastated, while others are angry; some are overwhelmed with a sense of loss, while others feel greater appreciation for what they do have; some are determined to fight to the utmost, while others resolve to accept whatever happens with grace. All of these reactions are normal and are influenced by your personal style, by where you are in your life, by the degree of support you receive from others, and by your perceptions of your chances for long-term survival. Nearly everyone, though, finds a cancer diagnosis scary and discovers that it creates significant changes in his or her life. When I was diagnosed with lymphoma, I felt shocked and confused. The diagnosis seemed terrifying but oddly unreal. Adding to my sense of unreality was my uncertainty about exactly what lymphoma was—I didn’t have the same sense of familiarity with my lymphoid tissues as with, say, my stomach or my lungs—and what was likely to happen. Like many people, I regained a sense of control over my life by learning everything I could about the disease and its treatment. Part I of this book is intended to ease the transition as you learn to cope with the changes that take place in your life following a diagnosis of cancer. In Chapter 1, I describe my own experience with diagnosis, introduce the group of diseases known as lymphoma, and give some general information on U 2 Living with Lymphoma the prevalence of lymphoma in the United States. In Chapter 2, I discuss the events that are likely to surround the diagnosis: the symptoms that announce “something’s wrong” and the various medical tests and procedures intended to give your doctor as much information as possible about the disease so it can be most effectively treated. ...


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