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Coping with non Hodgkin lymphoma

Men and women discussing non Hodgkin's lymphoma

This page contains information about coping with non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). You can find the following information

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Coping with non Hodgkin lymphoma

It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of non 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.

The coping with cancer section contains lots of information you may find helpful including information about counselling, financial issues and much more.
 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the living with NHL section.

 

 

Coping with your diagnosis

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 NHL 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.

 

How NHL can affect you physically

NHL 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 NHL is advanced. 

We have information about fatigue and cancer and treating cancer fatigue.

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 NHL 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 sex and fertility and NHL.

 

Coping practically

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

We also have information about how and what to tell children.

Just try to remember that you don't 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. Your doctor or specialist nurse will know who you can contact to get some help and 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 do use them if you feel you need to.

 

More information about coping with NHL

The coping with cancer section has lots of helpful information. There are sections about

If you would like more information about any aspect of non Hodgkin lymphoma, you can phone the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040. The lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. They will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Our non Hodgkin lymphoma organisations page gives details of other people who can provide information about NHL and its treatment. Some organisations can put you in touch with a cancer support group. They often have free factsheets and information which they can send to you.

There are also books, booklets, CDs and other resources available about non Hodgkin lymphoma. Some of these are free. Look at our NHL reading list for details.

If you want to find people to share experiences with online, you could use Cancer Chat, our online forum.

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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Updated: 26 September 2014