Patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can often enjoy relatively long periods of time in which they have few, if any, symptoms (for example, if they have indolent disease or are in remission after having treatment). During these times, many patients find that they are able to live normal or near-normal lives.
However, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is not always curable, and its treatment is often lengthy and complicated. Even after successful treatment, patients usually have to visit the clinic for regular check-ups and assessments for many years.
They may also experience symptoms not only caused by the disease itself but also by its treatment, particularly as a result of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These can often be uncomfortable and may make it difficult to carry on work, despite treatments designed to alleviate symptoms and measures that can be taken to control or avoid them - for more information, see Symptom management.
Therefore, living with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is not just a matter of getting through the diagnostic tests or the treatment. For many patients, it is an ongoing challenge. One of the aims of treatment is to help people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to live a normal life, or as close to a normal life as possible.
There are some lifestyle changes that might be needed, either during treatment or afterwards. Many patients have practical questions about matters such as work, benefits, driving and holidays.
People with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and their carers need advice and help, and there are a number of support groups that help provide this. Other people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are often a good source of support. Many patients get to know other patients in their lymphoma unit very well. This website also provides a number of patient testimonials - stories from people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. If patients or carers would like to share their experiences of the disease, they can do so by sending their own stories via the online submission form. See Patient stories for more details.
Everyone's story is different and, of course, living with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma will be different for everyone.