General cancer discussions

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Talking to family

Posted by


I know that only I can really decide this...! But I am trying to find the best way to tell my father and younger sister (who don't live in the UK) about my recent NHL diagnosis.

I've been avoiding this because I know they will both be upset (two older sisters are in the UK and they do both know) and it's hard to explain properly when they are so far away. I don't want to freak them out by being too blunt, but I don't want to be evasive either.

I'm thinking of saying that I have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but it is very treatable and I am hoping it will go into remission for a long time. I don't want to be misleading in implying that there is a "cure"... but at the same time, I don't want to say "incurable" because I don't think it's really an accurate reflection of the situation. Maybe I say something like that it's a lifelong condition, like lupus or asthma, which occasionally flares up and requires treatment?

Urgh... any advice welcome. I just do not know how to do this!


Posted by


I wonder if you could say (as you have said above) about having NHL and yours is treatable, but not curable, but as you say,  hoping it will go into remission and it being a lifelong condition for you.  You could then perhaps send them this link from cancer research UK, so that they have more understanding of it and don't go Googling random sites that don't explain it very well.  

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but thankful for you that it has been diagnosed after not knowing why you were poorly and losing weight.  Once you know what you are dealing with and know what treatment is available to 'deal' with it, you can live your life to the best of your ability with your condition. That is at least something in that you take back a little control, I guess.

Kindest wishes,

Lesley x

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Posted by

Thank you Lesley - I think this is the best way to do it and thank you for suggesting the link as well. I am feeling reasonably positive, so I hope I can communicate that when I talk to them!