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The emotional impact of a blood cancer

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Leukaemia CARE Conference

People will often experience a wide range of emotions such as; feeling shocked, frightened or even hopeless. The impact it can have on your emotional well-being can affect people in different ways.

Through an initial state of shock, you may not have been able to pay attention to what the doctor was saying. The volume of information can seem overwhelming with lots of information about treatment options, side effects, benefits and much more. With so many factors to start thinking about, you can begin to feel even more anxious and unable to control the situation.

Where to get information

Getting too much information can sometimes induce feelings which you may not be ready for. It is important to try and find the right balance of information, however you are the only person who knows when and how much you are ready for.

There are many places you can go to get more information. Your hospital doctors and nurses are the main people to turn to regarding your illness and treatment. Remember writing down your questions and answers can be very helpful, as well as taking somebody along with you to help remember what they might say.

Another great source of information can be your local library or the internet. With so much content available, make sure the books and websites you are using are well respected. If you read something that worries you, simply ask your medical team about it and they will be happy to help.


There are lots of things that can affect how you feel. Not understanding information correctly can make you feel out of control. It is natural to feel uncertain about what the future holds as well as feeling curious about whether treatment will work. It is important to remember that everyone is different and that there is no right or wrong way of feeling.

Lots of things change when you are diagnosed with a blood cancer. Some of which are very common, but some are less obvious and can be harder to adjust to. Common changes that people may experience are:


It is a common feeling to wonder if your blood cancer may come back. If it does, this may bring the whole range of emotions you experienced when you were first diagnosed. These emotions are no easier to cope with the second or third time round, even if your doctors feel that a cure is possible with further treatment. It is vital to recognise that what you are feeling is natural and to ask for any help you need with the emotional side of your relapse.

Many people manage to cope with their emotions with the help of family, friends and sometimes their medical team. Some find, however, that their feelings can become too intense and as a result can make everyday life and coping with treatment difficult.

We provide information on the emotional impact of blood cancer in our 'Step by Step' range of information booklets. All our booklets are accredited by The Information Standard. You can download all our booklets from our website or you can call our CARE Team on 08088 010 444 to order your free copy.

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