Relapsed aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
If you’ve relapsed with aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), you may be starting to experience symptoms again. Alternatively, you may be feeling generally healthy but, during a routine check-up, your doctor may have noticed that you’ve relapsed.
Either way, you will probably be starting, or have already started, treatment again.
You should remember that nothing you’ve done has caused your NHL to relapse. It’s normal for people with aggressive NHL to experience a relapse, and maybe even several of them, throughout their life.
The treatment you receive is designed to help combat these relapses and give you as much symptom-free time as possible. Sometimes people with relapsed NHL are cured, although cure is less likely after relapse.
What will happen to me now I’ve relapsed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
This question will probably be at the top of your mind if you have found out that your aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) has relapsed. But, as you probably know by now, there are no easy answers to questions like this when you are dealing with cancer.
Everyone is different, and your experience of aggressive NHL will be unique to you.
It’s therefore important to be open with your doctor and healthcare team about any fears or worries that you may have, and to ask them for any information that you need. They are the people who know the most about your situation and will be able to give you the best advice. However, here at Lymphoma Life, we can give you a good overall picture of what happens to people who experience a relapse.
You may feel discouraged that your remission from aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has moved into relapse, but there are reasons to stay positive
Many people who have relapsed with NHL are upset and have very real fears about facing treatment again, about what will happen this time round and what the future may hold. This is completely understandable as you could be starting to feel ill again – and hearing that you’ve relapsed can be quite an emotional blow.
However, try not to be too discouraged. A relapse can be a setback, but you now have another opportunity to treat it. Although relapsed aggressive NHL is not often cured, it does sometimes happen. You may be able to successfully live with the disease for a long time, and as the symptoms have been noticed, the disease can be treated appropriately.
For some people, relapsing will bring back bad memories of their initial treatment and the unpleasant side effects of therapy. However, it is possible that you will find treatment less difficult the second time as you now have more knowledge and experience of the hospital, the disease and the treatment than you did the first time.
Many people with aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma will often have more than one round of treatment over the course of the disease
All NHL treatments are designed to help you live as normal a life as possible.
Remember, you’re an individual
This means it’s impossible to predict for certain exactly what will happen to you or how you’ll feel. It’s therefore very important that you speak to your doctor or healthcare team about your individual situation. Try to stay positive about going back into treatment – it means you’ve got another chance to try and regain your remission and stop your non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affecting you so much.
Finding support if you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Starting treatment for NHL again can be a challenging time, and it’s important to remember that there’s plenty of support out there for you, should you need it. Patient support groups can be a very valuable source of information and advice, and can help you get in touch with people who are in the same situation. Here at Lymphoma Life you can find the contact details of organisations in your country that could help you.