There is no exact and unique way to cope with cancer. Today almost 50% of people with cancer recover completely and among the lymphomas there are many that can be treated. At diagnosis, everyone is confronted to fear, uncertainty about the future, anger for having contracted the disease. The initial disorientation should make way to hope, courage and will to live. This transition is neither easy nor immediate as it requires the effort to not shut the world out; that of getting relatives involved and that of always remaining informed about the course of the disease.
Often, with the onset of the disease, relations between the patient and others can change as the patient’s quality of life can be compromised and relatives are sometimes not ready to accept and cope with the new situation. With an open dialogue and the sharing of decision, even if the final one only belongs to the patient, interpersonal relations can even grow stronger.
Often a psychological support is necessary to help in delicate moments as well as in tackling the illness. Neglecting emotional aspects connected to the diagnosis and the treatment of a lymphoma can lead to depression or accentuate an already existing state of depression; this can jeopardise the patient’s cooperation as well as the final outcome of his/her treatment.
According to an integrated multidisciplinary approach, the presence of a psycho-oncologist among the medical staff is important to be able to offer the best care during the therapeutic journey. Expert advice is helpful to understand and accept the reactions triggered off by the stress caused by the disease; to cope with the emotional challenges and to tackle the therapeutic journey with a positive mind. Often this kind of expert advice is recommended by the haematologist – oncologist who informs the patient about the services available at the treatment centre. Nevertheless, the patient is not obliged to follow such recommendations. The choice to follow counselling remains free and only belongs to the patient.