Wendy’s story

My name is Wendy. I am a 59 year old retired mechanical engineer and I live in the United States with my spouse, special needs daughter, and dog. I have also raised three adopted children.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 FL in 2022. During an appointment, a doctor told me it was highly likely that I had FL and then it was confirmed with biopsy and CT results which I read online in my chart. My first thought, honestly, was “I’ve had a good life.” The initial diagnosis was shocking because I feared the worse. However, it did validate my mental and physical fatigue which I thought was depression.


Now, eighteen months later and post chemo, it’s still difficult not to think about it a lot, but I’m much more optimistic and I feel so much better.

My treatment was B&R which was accompanied by nausea and fatigue. I kept a journal with symptoms and timing, so I could proactively take nausea meds and also know what days I would have the most fatigue and plan around them. I also tried to get outside and walk when I felt OK. Overall, it was not really too bad. 

My friends and family have been very supportive and check in frequently to see how I am and what I need. I try to educate them, because due to the nature of lymphoma, the information online is so varied and confusing. Especially the prognosis. 

It has helped me to recognise that I was sometimes mentally fatigued and didn’t cope as well with stress as I used to. Recognising this allowed self-forgiveness. 

I also try to walk daily and eat well, but I am not hard on myself. I value and nurture good relationships and cut out the bad ones. I remind myself of the love and beauty of life! I say “yes” now to new things I used to be cautious about. 

In terms of advice that I would give to others. After diagnosis, most people have time. Unlike other cancers, you don’t usually need to rush into treatment and should get a second opinion. You can do remotely and will more than likely be covered by insurance. It will give you great peace of mind and prevent second-guessing later. Also, the course of FL is not well defined, the treatments are improving rapidly, and so Googling cannot help too much at first.

After treatment, it took about six months to feel (almost) back to normal.  I am now at eleven months post treatment, and I still think about lymphoma at least once a day, but it is definitely not one of the main things in my life anymore.