After my initial diagnosis my general practitioner under-prepared me for the treatment and experience I was about to endure. She had told me the treatment for Hodgkin’s is simple, and that I potentially could just treat it with chemo pills. After all, cancer treatment has come a long way.
Both myself and other HL patients I have met feel triggered when the cancer we had is minimized by the fact that it is curable (after five years of remission).
Since my diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma, I have encountered many other patients who have relapsed. More recently, one of my best cancer friends (who is now like a best friend) is about to have her stem cell transplant. Ashley has had to leave her family, including her two little boys, to be hospitalized in isolation while she goes through the stem cell transplant process.
Of course, treatments and prognosis have improved for HL. That is the case for most cancers these days, as more research and funds go toward finding cures.
The fact is that HL is a pretty rare cancer. According to Cancer.Net about 8,260 people are diagnosed with HL each year (in the U.S) and nearly 1,070 of those people do not survive the diagnosis.
If you’re diagnosed with cancer, you know that it’s not just the cancer that can kill you or make you sick. Along with a cancer diagnosis, many of us will experience short- and long-term side effects.
While other cancers can be harder to treat, I still did not get “the good cancer.” I got cancer. This cancer that I got, no matter how curable it is, has affected my life forever.
It is important to remember that all cancers are SO different. People are SO different, and all treatments are SO different.
While I know that people usually mean no harm when they say that HL is the “good cancer,” hearing that the cancer I had is “good” belittles my experience and adversity, which makes my journey seem less tough. That does not feel good. It is important to be mindful of the diagnosis and treatment that different people receive. Do not minimize their experience, because other experiences may be harder.
No one fights alone, and I believe that the day we say a cancer is “good” will be the day that all cancers are cured!
Note: Lymphoma News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lymphoma News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lymphoma.