unusually long post from you Ronnie... though you are not at all
rambling. There is lot of common sense in what you
say. The bottom line is that we are individuals and consequently
will have a diversity of ways of coping and living with lymphoma. Not everyone is going through the same thing with their disease, some
may be having treatment, or facing or
recovering from it - in which case not so easy to put it on the back
burner and get on with life. Others on W&W (watch and wait) also may
have a variety of problems and all quite different from each other, or
they may have no signs of lymphoma at all, feel great. I sometimes think one's state of mind fluctuates as much as lymphoma
can at times. Nodes go up, or there is some other
related problem, and the tension builds up; nodes go down and you
relax, get on with life. One could write a book featuring
the diversity of reactions to diagnosis and ways of living with it.
Even denial has its place if it works for some people, though
depending on what shape the denial takes. It can be
destructive if a partner refuses to accept cancer and the whole burden
is on the patient, as happened to a couple I know. Or
vice-versa when the partner/carer has to shoulder everything.
You could call that negative denial. A more positive denial
might be when someone has had treatment, is in remission, though knows
it will return but chooses to "forget" about it other than
regular check-ups. Though I really heartily dislike the terms negative
Others appear to be in denial because they feel they might burden
others if they express their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes
they just need a little gentle, tactful coaxing. Then there are
people who are naturally reticent about mentioning anything about
themselves, their lives; very private people. They may not need
to talk, being used to their personal privacy,
dealing in their own way with life, might even resent what they see as
intrusion. One could go on and on mentioning a whole variety of
When you think of it, NHL lists such as ours and others represent a
tiny proportion of the thousands diagnosed with NHL each year, plus
survivors. So there are many thousands of people out there dealing
with it in their own personal way. There is no right or
wrong way.... as you say, no right formula.
Liz ~ Scotland.
Dx 5/97. Mixed cell low grade follicular Stage I. Radiation. Later
W & W. Both groins, spleen, para-aorta nodes.
CT scan 5/02, some changes, still on W&W.