Coping with Hodgkin lymphoma
This page has information about coping with a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease).
Coping with Hodgkin lymphoma
It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma, both practically and emotionally. You are likely to be feeling very upset and confused.
As well as coping with the fear and anxiety that any diagnosis of cancer brings, you have to work out how to manage practically. There may be money matters to sort out. Who do you tell that you have cancer? And how do you find the words? There may be children to consider.
Support is available at the hospital and from support groups. Getting the support you need will help you cope. This may be emotional support or more practical help, such as dealing with money matters. Our coping with cancer section contains lots of information you may find helpful.
You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Living with Hodgkin lymphoma section.
It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of lymphoma, both practically and emotionally. At first, you are likely to feel very upset, frightened and confused. Or that things are out of your control. It is very important to get the right information about your type of Hodgkin lymphoma and how it is best treated. People who are well informed about their illness and treatment are more able to make decisions and cope with what happens.
Hodgkin lymphoma and its treatment may cause physical changes in your body. These changes can be very difficult to cope with and may affect the way you feel about yourself. Such changes can affect your self esteem and the way you relate to other people, especially close family and friends. Another problem you may have to cope with is feeling very tired and lethargic a lot of the time, especially for a while after treatment or if the lymphoma is advanced. There is information about fatigue and cancer and treating cancer fatigue in our section about coping physically with cancer.
If you are having a sexual relationship, one or all of these changes may affect your sex life. There is information about changes in your sex life in this section.
Some of the treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma can cause an early menopause in some women, which means you can no longer have children. Some men may also find that they are infertile after treatment. This can be very difficult to cope with. It may help you to read our information about early menopause and infertility after Hodgkin lymphoma.
As well as coping with the fear and anxiety that a diagnosis of lymphoma brings, you may also have to work out how to manage practically. There may be money matters to sort out. You may need information about financial support, such as benefits, sick pay and grants. Who do you tell that you have lymphoma? And how do you find the words? You may also have children to think about. We have information about talking to people about your cancer and how and what to tell children.
Just try to remember that you do not have to sort everything out at once. It may take some time to deal with each issue. Do ask for help if you need it though. It is likely that your doctor or specialist nurse will know who you can contact to get some help – they can put you in touch with people specially trained in supporting those with cancer. These people are there to help and want you to feel that you have support. So use them if you feel you need to.
The coping with cancer section has lots of helpful information. There are sections about
- Your feelings
- How you can help yourself
- Who else can help you?
- Mortgages, pensions, loans and insurance, including travel insurance
- Coming to the UK from overseas
If you would like more detailed information about coping with Hodgkin lymphoma, contact one of the organisations on our Hodgkin lymphoma organisations page. They will be happy to help. They often have free factsheets and booklets they can send to you. They may also be able to put you in touch with a support group.
You can also contact our cancer information nurses. They would be happy to help.
There is also a Hodgkin lymphoma reading list. Cancer Chat is Cancer Research UK's online discussion forum where you can talk online to other people affected by cancer, share experiences and find information.
You can also find details of counselling organisations that can tell you more about counselling and help you find sources of emotional support in your area.
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