What to Expect
If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with lymphoma, here are a few thoughts to consider:
- First, all cancers and all lymphomas are not the same. The treatment that a friend or relative received may not be the best treatment for you. You may want to read about common treatment options to learn more. Your healthcare team can explain the options. They can talk with you about which combination is most likely to help you.
- Don’t rush into a decision about treatment. In most cases, you have time to consider your options and get a second opinion to help you decide what kind of treatment is right for you.
- A diagnosis of cancer can feel overwhelming. We have an experienced, compassionate team ready to help you adjust to what’s happening. You may want to read the section on support. You may want to join a support group, or talk to a social worker or chaplain.
- Ask someone you trust to go with you to doctors’ appointments and tests. This person can provide emotional support. A friend can also help by keeping track of questions you want to ask, taking notes and doing research on your disease and treatment options.
Personal Care Team
Every patient with lymphoma at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) has a personal team that includes an oncologist and nurse case manager.
Before your first visit, the team will have reviewed your pathology slides (tissue samples from any biopsies) and any scans or tests you have already had. If you do not live in or near Seattle, we may ask your referring doctor to arrange for additional tests or scans so that these results are available before your appointment at SCCA.
Your First Visit
On your first visit to SCCA, you will first meet with your doctor, who will ask you questions about your medical history and your current problem. This will be followed by a physical exam.
Then you will sit down for a conference with your doctor to discuss a treatment plan. This visit usually lasts one to one-and-a-half hours. We recommend that you bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment for emotional support and to help you keep track of the information your team will be giving you.
Treatment for lymphoma isn’t easy, but your medical team will provide supportive care that will minimize side effects while providing the best, most effective treatment possible for your disease.
Once your lymphoma is in remission, you will need to visit your doctor on a regular basis to check your health. During these visits your doctor will give you a physical exam and may give you tests to detect signs of cancer. Your doctor will talk with you about the follow-up schedule and steps towards health maintenance that are right for you.