Coping with Lymphoma During and After Treatment
When a person is diagnosed with a condition known as lymphoma, his life should evolve in more than just having laboratory tests and deciding what treatment to take. During the entire course of the treatment and several years following its completion, there are many other issues that would come and go, like coping with side effects from treatments, possible remission and relapse, understanding the concepts of disease response, and arranging for necessary funding for the treatment. The immediate family of the patient should also readily provide support in any form other than financial. The issues should be immediately understood and addressed.
Remember that lymphoma treatment could be long and very complicated. Every type of treatment (radiation, chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, and antibodies) could bring about its own complications and issues. There are known side effects of taking such lymphoma treatments. They include hair loss, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, sore mouth, and sore skin. Red blood and white blood count could also fall as such cells could also be killed along with cancer cells during treatment. In some cases, there is nausea, vomiting, and difficulty or pain in swallowing and drinking.
For the financial aspect, understand that lymphoma treatment could be significantly expensive. Several treatments and drugs may be covered under health insurances and government grants but still overall costs could be high. The patient could opt to take financial aid from the government specifically granted to cancer patients. There are even non-government organizations that provide financial support to lymphoma and other cancer patients.
The patient should understand treatment response as well as survival. When treatment is completed, the doctors should immediately assess treatment response. Once all diseases seem to have already disappeared, the patient has had a complete response. He is in a stage of remission. When the disease reappears in the future, there is a condition called a relapse. The patient should very well understand the possibility for both remission and relapse. The doctor should explain each very carefully to the patient.
There are issues following the lymphoma treatment. Patients who win the initial battle against the disease should still expect significant issues in the coming years. Lymphoma and the treatments used have long-term effects. The survivor's battle is not yet over after complete recovery. In the coming years after the treatment, these could still be expected: cancer-related fatigue, infertility, memory problems, and possible heart damages.
Lastly, the lymphoma patient should not feel alone. The patient needs to feel that his battle against the disease is not fought by him alone. Moral and emotional support could be important. The family members and the loved ones of the patient could take significant roles in supporting the affected individual. Some people fail to recognize the fact that recovery from lymphoma goes beyond mere monetary expenses. Physical recovery from the disease should be complemented by emotional and mental recovery. In this aspect, making the patient feel loved and supported by people around him would definitely help.