Being diagnosed with lymphoma can be a life-changing event, and being diagnosed with a fast-growing cancer such as DLBCL can be very unexpected and even life-shattering.
Survivors often cite an increased level of comfort with becoming educated enough to understand the basics of the disease and its treatment—enough, at least, to ask the doctor questions about your illness and the treatment options that might be best for you as an individual.
There is more than one treatment for lymphoma, and part of the new normal is working with your doctor to understand your options and plot the course for your future and identifying ways that you can feel better while receiving treatment.
What to Expect
Chemotherapy is given in cycles of treatment days followed by days of rest to allow your body to recover before the next cycle. Side effects can be different in different people, even for the same drug. Fast growing cells affected by chemotherapy include the hair follicles, gut, mouth, and blood cells, and so chemo can result in side effects such as nausea, lack of appetite, hair loss, and low blood counts. Radiation has side effects such as fatigue and skin changes.
Both radiation and chemotherapy can have side effects that emerge long after your treatment. Not all possible side effects are discussed here, so ask your medical team to go over the complete list and help you identify strategies for coping with them.
Supportive care consists of treatment for the symptoms or health conditions caused by cancer or cancer treatment, but not treatment to kill the cancer cells themselves.
The aim of supportive care (also known as palliative care) is to improve your quality of life as a patient. It can include treatment for physical and emotional symptoms that you may encounter along your cancer journey. For anyone facing an aggressive lymphoma, it is important to talk to your treatment team to plan the best supportive care for you.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may be an option.
Acupuncture for pain management and
yoga for relaxation, for example, help with comfort and wellbeing.