'There is every expectation that the treatment will be successful,' said Nancy Tuckerman, a family spokeswoman. 'There is an excellent prognosis. You can never be absolutely sure, but the doctors are very, very optimistic.' Mrs Onassis, who has enjoyed good health most of her life, was found to have the disease after going to the doctor with flu-like symptoms. She decided to disclose the diagnosis after there had been rumours about her health.
The chemotherapy will not prevent Mrs Onassis from carrying out her duties as a senior editor at the New York publishing house of Doubleday. Mrs Onassis has been working three days a week, plus another two at home in her Manhattan apartment. She edits about a dozen books a year, primarily non-fiction, dealing with the performing arts, especially ballet and music.
The lymphatic system, which is composed of lymph nodes and other tissues in the neck, armpits and groin is a key component of the body's immune system. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a painless enlargement of the lymph tissue that can damage the immune system and eventually be fatal if it goes unchecked.
According to Ms Tuckerman, Mrs Onassis continues to see friends and family, including her grandchildren Tatiana and Jack Schlossberg, the children of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, and still rides at her New Jersey estate at weekends.
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