I was diagnosed with transformed follicular lymphoma, a low-grade slow growing type of lymphoma which had transformed to an aggressive lymphoma at the end of 2007.
I found the Live your Life workshop provided a safe space for me to talk about my feelings with other people who understood how I was feeling and what I was going through with people who speak the ‘lymphoma language’. Most importantly for me, was being able to recognise and accept those feelings in a safe environment and discuss with others the different ways in which I could move on and find a new norm, which helped me to better support other people affected by lymphoma.
I went on train as a Live Your Life workshop facilitator because not only did I want to transfer the skills I had learnt as an attendee but because I feel the workshops are a lifeline for so many people. I know that many people who attend a workshop haven’t spoken about their lymphoma-related problems to anyone and once they realise they are within a safe setting, they suddenly open up and really talk about their feelings and their needs. Many people attend the workshop with a loved one who has been with them on their journey and they too benefit from the information, support, and advice given by the facilitator, the Lymphoma Action team, and other attendees.
I’ve been a member of the UK Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Support Facebook Group, which now has more than 2,000 followers since it launched and I became an admin of the group in it’s infancy. Since attending a Live your Life workshop, and helping to facilitate other workshops, I have found it easier in helping to support others on the Facebook group and have ultimately resolved some of my own challenges arising from my lymphoma diagnosis.
Lymphoma is not like other cancers and a lymphoma-specific workshop has helped me feel less alone in my cancer ‘journey'.