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Wife was just diagnosed

hinkley
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2003

My wife was just diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma last week. I am so worried and anxious about what she is going to have to go through. She has additional tests on Friday and will most likely start treatment by the end of the month. Can anyone give me advice on ways that helped them get through the initial diagnosis and treatment? I want to be there for her as much as I can.

AlloMan
Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2003

Dear Peter,

She'll probably get chemo and/or radiation, so she'll probably get very tired, so be prepared to pick up her slack on the domestic chores end. If you're lucky enough to have supportive friends and/or family, they may offer help. Write down what you need help with, prioritize and delegate. Be supportive, but don't be overly empathetic. I read of a study that stated patients feel worse when their care giver goes over board with sympathy and empathy. You can feel really isolated in the parallel universe of cancer treatment. Bring her newspapers and magazines, keep her connected with the outside world. Play games with her (cards, Scrabble, etc.). Don't plan on doing much, because there will be days when she won't be up to doing much. When she is up for something, just go and do it. As much as you can, try to keep things as "normal" as possible. Lymphoma is a disease. She'll be treated, it'll be a drag for a while, then the two of you will move on with your lives. This too shall pass.

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2000

It is such a shock for anybody to hear that cancer is something you have to deal with. The hardest part for me was what you are going through right now...all the tests, the waiting for results, the wondering what it will be like, the stress of it all. I'm sorry that you and your wife have to go through any of this. At first it seems like your life IS this cancer, that it consumes all of your time and you have to work your "normal" life around it. Once your wife has been staged and the oncologist has put a treatment plan in place the chaos will start to settle down. When she feels up to it, she will get back to her everyday routines and fit her treatments into her schedule. Allo man is right about trying to keep your lives as normal as you can and taking advantage of times when your wife feels like getting out and doing things. She will tire out easily at times, so don't take it personally if she is just not up to events she might have been before. You will get through this and even learn some important things and meet some pretty incredible people along the way. Hodgkins is one of the most curable kinds of cancer. Odds are enormously in your wife's favor to be cancer free a year from now and go on to live a long healthy life. Good luck to both of you.

guitarman
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2003

Peter,
My name is Larry and I live in Florida. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Hodgkins. I found a small lump under my chin and had it looked at. It came back positive. I had a CT scan and had to have my spleen removed. After recovering from the major operation I started 29 weeks of treatments (radiation therapy). As a person who has had cancer I feel like I can safely tell you how MY wife felt as I went through the treatments and the emotional stress I was under. The biggest strength that I had during that time was my great friends and family. My wife was my biggest strength. She was also pregnate with our secound child. We decided to TRY and have one more before I started treatments and 2 weeks later we were picking out names....I didn't have ANY problems there!!!!

Please feel free to email me if you have any specific questions..

Larry Jackson
Larry.Jackson@Liebert.com

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