Emotional Wellness

Being diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM), an incurable but slow-growing, treatable, rare lymphoma, may disrupt your sense of normalcy and cause stress for both you and your loved ones. Upon receiving the diagnosis, many questions often surface, such as:

  • Why me?
  • How did this happen?
  • How long will I live?
  • How will my life, work, relationships change?
  • Will I be around to see my children grow up?

Experiencing many different feelings – even all at once – is an expected part of having cancer. People often face an array of emotions as they cycle through the adjustment process.

If no significant WM symptoms are present upon diagnosis, your physician may suggest a period of active monitoring called “watch and wait.” During this time, your disease status is carefully monitored so that treatment begins at the right time, when and if it’s needed. Some people find this period unsettling due to the lack of action and refer to it as “watch and worry.” Others feel a sense of relief being free from the demands of treatment and view it more welcomingly as “watch and live.” There are many ways you can take control during this time to improve your physical fitness, emotional health, and overall well-being.

When starting treatment, many emotions may arise and continue even after it ends. Finding the right kind of support that best fits your personal needs is key. Joining a support group, calling a friend or family member, reaching out to a spiritual or community leader, or seeking professional help from a licensed therapist can be important coping strategies. The IWMF offers many support resources, including:

  • 1:1 phone calls/emails
  • Support groups
  • Wellness programs
  • Online discussion groups

You will find links below, along with helpful resources from other organizations that have been vetted by the IWMF. With the IWMF, you are never alone!

Coping with Watch & Wait Stage

Coping with Treatment and Beyond

Coping with Relapse and Recurrence

Gaining Support

Gaining Empowerment