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Prior to publication of this resource guide, no book on the market targeted the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor's need for understandable information. While there are medical texts on the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas as well as inspirational first-person accounts from survivors of related cancers such as leukemia, between these two sources of information existed a considerable information gap.
In straightforward language and in a format that anticipates the reader's questions, this book addresses diagnosis and its emotional tumult, finding a good oncologist, the theories and practical aspects of treatment, characteristics of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, side effects and long-term effects of treatment, medical tests and procedures, and prognoses.
Other topics of interest examined are coping with hospitalization, stress and its effects on the immune system, sexuality and fertility after treatment, how to interact successfully with medical personnel, and getting support from family, friends, employers and the broader community. The end of successful treatment and its sometimes surprising effects on one's emotions are covered in a separate chapter, as is the experience of relapse and how to select second-line treatment to regain remission. Clinical trials of promising new therapies grounded in Western medicine are covered in depth. The theories and experiences of marrow transplantation and stem cell support are surveyed. Two frank chapters on recordkeeping, finances, insurance, employment issues, traveling for care, and finding free treatment are included. Throughout the text and in several appendices, the reader is referred to other books, Web sites, and organizations that can provide more detail on a given topic.
This book is intended for both newly diagnosed and long-term survivors of the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, their caregivers and loved ones, and for medical personnel who interact with survivors of the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
About the Author
Lorraine Johnston is the wife of an eight-year lymphoma survivor and the daughter of a twenty-year lymphoma survivor. In the years since her husband's diagnosis, she's been involved in a number of support groups that offer emotional and practical support to lymphoma survivors. Her first book is Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas: Making Sense of Diagnosis, Treatment & Options. In the course of her support group efforts, Lorraine has been interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer and by National Public Radio's Marketplace program regarding the best ways to find reliable medical information using a personal computer and various media such as the World Wide Web. She attempts to dispel the myths that access to sound medical information is cloaked in secrecy and that medical literature is impossible to interpret. Using her life-long love of biology and her degree in life sciences, she helps cancer survivors evaluate accurately the material they locate, emphasizing resources such as the National Cancer Institute's databases of treatments and clinical trials, and the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE, a collection of over nine million published medical research studies. Lorraine's years of study have included many courses in psychology, but she found that nothing in her educational background prepared her adequately for facing the terror and heartbreak of cancer. One of her chief interests is helping the newly diagnosed as well as long-term survivors feel less lonely and less afraid as they confront their diagnoses and weigh their options.