What I wish I’d done differently during my non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment

When I learned that I had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in June 2011, an acquaintance said that he knew people who’d received treatment for that disease and still carried on their day-to-day lives without any problems. That made me feel like I couldn’t talk to anyone about what I was going through — which was sometimes really hard! Instead, I put on my best brave face. I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone, especially my family. Today, I am cancer-free, and I have been since 2013. But it’s only in looking back today that I can admit how hard it was. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I wish I’d handled it differently. My non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis I began experiencing severe stomach pains not long after I turned 30. Eventually, they got so bad that my husband took me to the emergency room. A CT scan showed I had acute appendicitis. I needed surgery immediately. But that wasn’t the only bad news: the ER doctors also said I had enlarged lymph nodes in my abdomen, which can be a sign of lymphoma. They thought that I probably had cancer. My first reaction was shock and disbelief. I was a healthy mom with two very young children. And I had no other symptoms of lymphoma. But as it turned out, the doctors’ suspicions were right. Six weeks after my emergency appendectomy, I had a biopsy. And the results showed I had non-Hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma. Why I’m glad I had appendicitis I’m actually kind of grateful for the appendicitis today, because if it hadn’t been for that trip...