You have been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. This disease is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas. Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that form in your body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps you fight disease and infection. This system goes to every part of your body. This means that Hodgkin lymphoma can start in many different places. Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and in some cases a stem cell transplant. Here’s what you need to know about caring for yourself during and after treatment.
Be sure to follow any specific instructions from your healthcare provider. Make sure you:
Take all medicines as instructed
Understand what you can and can’t do
Balance rest with activity. Take naps during the day, if you are tired. But try to move around and walk as much as possible
Keep your follow-up appointments
Call your healthcare provider if you have any questions or are concerned about any symptoms
Many people get mouth sores during chemotherapy. Here’s what you can do to help prevent them:
Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush after every meal. If your gums bleed while brushing, try other products to clean your teeth and gums.
Don’t use dental floss if you are at greater risk for bleeding. This may be the case if your provider tells you that you have a low blood platelet count.
Use any mouthwashes or rinses as instructed
If you can’t brush your teeth or use mouthwash, talk with your healthcare provider about other ways to keep your mouth clean
Check your mouth and tongue for white patches. This is a sign of fungal infection, a common side effect of chemotherapy. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider. He or she may prescribe medicine that can help.
Let your healthcare provider know if you get a sore throat. It may mean you have an infection. Your provider may prescribe medicine.
You may develop minor burns from radiation treatment. Let your healthcare provider know. There are creams to help lessen mild pain, improve healing, and protect your skin.
Bathe or shower regularly to keep clean. During treatment, your body can’t fight infections very well.
Use soap or shower gel with moisturizers. Use lotion throughout the day. Treatment can make your skin dry.
You may have an upset stomach or vomiting during treatment. You may lose your appetite. Let your provider know. He or she may prescribe medicines that can help. Try to:
Eat smaller amounts of food throughout the day
Include some of your favorite foods in your diet
Make sure you have water and other healthy drinks
Try soft, plain foods. These include pudding, gelatin, ice cream, sherbet, yogurt, or milkshakes.
Make sure you cook all food well and store all food safely. This helps to prevent food infection.
Make follow-up appointments as directed by our staff
Stay up-to-date on all flu shots and vaccinations. Check with your provider before getting any vaccines.
Keep all follow-up appointments. You will need to be watched closely for the rest of your life.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or chills
Signs of an infection, such as an area with redness, pain, swelling, warmth, and drainage
A cough, or coughing up yellow or green mucus
Wheezing or trouble breathing
Headache, confusion, trouble focusing, or memory loss
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Fast or irregular heartbeat
Rash or itchy, raised, red areas on your skin, called hives
Yellowish skin or whites of the eyes, called jaundice
New lumps under your arms, on or near your neck, or on or near your groin
Call 911 or get emergency help if you have:
Trouble breathing, cough, and chest pain