Sunday, March 3, 2024

What To Expect After First Chemo Treatment For Lymphoma

Will I Get Late Effects After My Treatment

First Chemotherapy Treatment for Lymphoma | My Cancer Journey

Late effects are health conditions that can develop months or even years after treatment for lymphoma. Modern treatments are designed to treat lymphoma effectively while keeping the risk to your long-term health as low as possible. Your doctor will monitor you for late effects at your follow-up appointments.

Late effects from lymphoma treatment dont affect everyone. Attending your follow-up appointments means your medical team can closely monitor your health for late effects once treatment has ended.

How To Take It

On the first day of each cycle, youâll get the four of the five drugs all but prednisone, the steroid. A nurse or another medical professional injects the medication into your vein in one of these ways:

IV infusion. A needle put into a vein in your arm or hand is connected to a tube carrying the drugs.

Central line. Similar to an IV, but it uses a larger tube or a number of tubes that hook up to a port that goes under your skin near your chest. This allows the medication to go directly into a large vein of your heart.

PICC line. It stands for peripherally inserted central catheter. A long, thin tube called a catheter goes into your arm and is threaded up to a large vein near your heart. This tube stays in place until you finish your treatment.

Each infusion may take several hours. Your doctor may divide your first dose over 2 days to slowly monitor how it affects you.

You might get rituximab as an IV on a separate day from the other three drugs. You take prednisone as a pill once a day for 5 days. You take your first dose the same day that you take the other infused drugs and for 4 days after that.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Non

Radiotherapy can cause similar side effects to those caused by chemotherapy including nausea and vomiting, hair loss and fatigue. In general, the type of side effects seen with radiotherapy depends on the area of the body which has been treated. Skin reactions are common.

Chemotherapy kills cells that multiply quickly, such as lymphoma cells. It also causes damage to fast-growing normal cells, including hair cells and cells that make up the tissues in your mouth, gut and bone marrow. The side effects of chemotherapy occur as a result of this damage.

The side

effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy can include:

Effects on the bone marrow

Chemotherapy affects the bone marrows ability to produce adequate numbers of blood cells. As a result, your blood count will generally fall within a week of treatment. The length of time it takes for your bone marrow and blood counts to recover mainly depends on the type of chemotherapy given.

When your platelet count is very low you can bruise and bleed more easily. In many cases a transfusion of platelets is given to reduce the risk of bleeding until the platelet count recovers.

If your red blood cell count and haemoglobin levels drop you will probably become anaemic. When you are anaemic you feel more tired and lethargic than usual. If your haemoglobin level is very low, your doctor may prescribe a blood transfusion.

Risk of infection
Nausea and vomiting
Changes in taste and smell
Bowel changes
Hair loss

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Longer Term Side Effects


Tiredness is commonly reported during treatment. This may be a direct effect of the drugs or may be due to other factors such as disrupted sleep patterns.

  • Try to get adequate rest but also try to exercise regularly. Go for a walk outside each day as this can actually give you more energy.
  • Find something that you actually enjoy doing and also try to incorporate exercise into your usual day, e.g. walk upstairs rather than taking the lift, park further away from where you want to go and walk the extra distance. Build this up gradually.
  • Your GP, practice nurse or a physiotherapist can work with you to devise a specific exercise plan for you.
  • Let others help when your energy levels are low.

If your fatigue doesnt allow you to exercise, discuss this with your GP.

Usually energy levels recover after treatment finishes but this commonly takes time. In some cases full recovery may take 12 months or more.

Cognitive changes

Some people notice they are having concentration and short-term memory problems following their chemotherapy. This is often referred to as chemo brain. The severity and duration of symptoms differ from person to person. For some people the symptoms are very mild and resolve soon after treatment stops, but others may find their daily life is noticeably affected for a much longer period, restricting their ability to return to work in their pre-treatment capacity.


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Nccs Care Planning Tools

What to Know about Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplants

    Providing patients access to checklists for survivorship care will empower patients to be actively engaged in their care. The Survivorship Checklist website will help cancer patients avoid mistakes and errors as they transition from active treatment to long-term survivorship, pursue follow-up survivorship care, and monitor their health status.


    Our resources encourage dialogue between cancer patients and survivors and their health care team. We have created a selection of resources for use in daily practice covering issues for people living with, through, and beyond cancer. We hope that you will be able to use the following resources to help empower your patients.

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How Soon After Treatment Finishes Will I Feel Better

It takes time to recover after treatment for lymphoma and it might take a while for your energy levels to build back up. How quickly you feel stronger depends on factors that include:

  • the type of treatment you had
  • whether side effects go on once you finish your treatment
  • your general health and fitness, including any other medical conditions, if you have any
  • how you feel emotionally.

Some people have side effects that go on after treatment finishes. If this is the case for you, ask your CNS or GP for advice about how to manage these.

What To Expect After Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves routinely putting strong drugs in your body to kill cancer cells. After each session, you may find yourself feeling fatigued and sore in addition to lacking an appetite, feeling nauseated, or having an upset stomach and diarrhea.

Although these are normal side effects, not everyone experiences them. Your care team at the Cecil B. Highland, Jr., and Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at UHC will speak to you about how to manage side effects so they dont leave you feeling unwell for too long.

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It’s Helpful To Bring A Chemo Buddy

You definitely don’t have to go to your first chemo appointment alone. In fact, there are many reasons to have a “chemo buddy” with you for this session and future ones.

First, you might also be prescribed medication to take before chemo. Having someone drive you to your session can be helpful if the medication makes you tired.

Bringing a friend or family member means you have someone there who can focus on taking notes on instructions you are given and remembering questions you wanted to ask.

They can also help you pass the time, which can be particularly helpful for lengthy treatments.

And while you will be monitored throughout your treatment, the team won’t have eyes on you the entire time. A chemo buddy can keep a close eye out for reactions, like a rash or facial flushing, and inform healthcare providers immediately should they occur.

Red Sore Or Blistering Skin

Your First Chemo Treatment: What To Expect

Radiation can cause skin reactions, especially after you’ve had a few treatments. Ask the radiation oncologist or nurse for advice on how to best protect your skin.

You’ll probably be told to gently wash the area with baby soap or plain water and pat it dry. Don’t use any creams or powders on the area unless your health care team recommends one.

If you spend time outside, be sure to use sunscreen with a high SPF or cover up with clothing.

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Before First Round Of Chemotherapy

Meeting your oncologist. Before you begin chemotherapy, you will meet with your medical oncologist. She or he will examine your medical records and do a health examination. You will also have tests done to help plan treatment. Your specific treatment depends upon:

  • The type, size, and area of the cancer
  • Your basic health
  • Other aspects that are different for each person

A lot of chemotherapy treatments are given in duplicating cycles. The length of a cycle depends on the treatment being given. The majority of cycles range from 2 to 6 weeks. The number of treatment dosages set up within each cycle also differs depending upon the drugs being given.

For example, each cycle may include just 1 treatment on the first day. Or, a cycle may contain more than 1 dosage given weekly or everyday. After finishing 2 cycles, a re-evaluation is typically done to make sure the treatment is working. Most people have numerous cycles of chemotherapy. Or the treatment cycles may continue for as long as the chemotherapy works well.

Giving permission for chemotherapy. Your doctor will talk with you about the risks and benefits of chemotherapy. If you decide to have it, your group will ask you to sign an informed permission kind. Signing the informed permission form indicates:

  • You give written approval for treatment.
  • Your team provided you information on your treatment options.
  • You opt to have chemotherapy.
  • You comprehend that the treatment is not ensured to offer the desired outcomes.

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Chemotherapy damages the bone marrow causing a shortage of blood cells in the body. Shortage of white blood cells called neutrophils increases the risk of infection, and shortage of red blood cells causes tiredness and headaches. Some people had a treatment postponed to allow the blood cell counts to recover or were given medication or transfusions to boost them, others caught infections . Certain chemotherapy drugs can also damage fertility .

Last reviewed February 2016.

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Practical Hints For Menopausal Symptoms

  • If you have breast cancer, we DONT recommend hormone replacement therapy.
  • Eat soy products or take vitamin E to reduce hot flashes.
  • Your doctor may recommend prescription medications for hot flashes.
  • Wear light cotton pajamas to help prevent overheating when sleeping.
  • Use vaginal moisturizers on a regular basis or other water-based lubricants as needed, especially during and before sexual activity. These products will help with vaginal dryness and irritation.

Eat Light Ahead Of Time

RITUXAN HYCELA Dosage &  Rx Info

Two to three hours before an infusion, eat a light, high-fiber snack.

Chemo drugs tend to slow the movement of your digestive tract , so whatever you eat may be in your system for longer than usual. This often causes difficult bowel movements.

The drugs commonly used to prevent nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy can also be constipating. Between staying hydrated and eating fiber, you should gain the upper hand on constipation.

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What Types Of Medicines Are Used To Treat Non

You’ll most likely get more than 1 type of chemo medicine. This is called combination chemotherapy. Taking more than 1 type of medicine reduces the risk that the lymphoma will be resistant to the chemotherapy. That improves your chance of successful treatment. Which medicines you get and how often you get them depends on many factors. These include the type of lymphoma you have, how much cancer is in your body , and your overall health.

What To Expect Before During And After Chemotherapy Treatment

You may receive chemotherapy during a hospital stay, at home or as an outpatient at your doctors office, clinic or hospital. Outpatient means you do not stay overnight. Treatment schedules for chemotherapy vary widely.

How often and how long you get chemotherapy depends on:

  • Your type of cancer and how advanced it is.
  • Whether chemotherapy is used to cure your cancer, control its growth or ease symptoms.
  • The type of chemotherapy you are getting.
  • How your body responds to the chemotherapy.

You may receive chemotherapy in cycles. A cycle is a period of chemotherapy treatment followed by a period of rest. For instance, you might receive chemotherapy every day for 1 week followed by 3 weeks with no chemotherapy. These 4 weeks make up one cycle. The rest period gives your body a chance to recover and build new healthy cells.

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What Happens Before Chemotherapy

Each chemotherapy treatment plan is created to meet a patient’s unique needs. But before treatment starts, you can expect to take these general steps.

Meet with your oncologist. The doctor will look over your medical records and do a physical exam. You will also have tests done to help plan treatment. Your exact treatment depends on the type, size, and location of the cancer. Your doctor will also consider your age, your general health, and other factors, such as previous cancer treatments.

Learn about your chemotherapy treatment schedule. Your health care team will explain when and how often you need chemotherapy. Most chemotherapy treatments are given in repeating cycles. The length of a cycle depends on the drug you receive. Most cycles range from 2 to 6 weeks. The number of treatment doses scheduled within each cycle also depends on the prescribed chemotherapy.

For example, each cycle may contain only 1 dose on the first day. Or, a cycle may contain more than 1 dose given each week or each day. Often, your doctor will check if the treatment is working after you finish 2 cycles. Most people have several cycles of chemotherapy. Sometimes, chemotherapy treatment is ongoing as a maintenance therapy.

Signing this form means:

Mouth And Throat Changes

What to Expect at Your First Infusion Appointment

Why it happens: Since chemo affects fast-growing cells, like the cells that line your entire GI tract , you may experience changes in these parts of your body.

Problems may include:

  • Changes in taste and smell
  • Infections in your gums, teeth or tongue
  • Increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods

How to handle:

  • Visit a dentist at least two weeks before starting chemo
  • Check your mouth and tongue every day, especially if you wear dentures or a partial plate
  • Keep your mouth moist by sipping water all day
  • Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime
  • Do not use mouthwash that contains alcohol
  • Take small bites of food
  • Soften food with gravy, broth or other liquids
  • Suck on popsicles or ice chips.

You cancer doctor or nurse may refer you to a dietitian who can provide further education.

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Dont Freak Yourself Out With Chemo Horror Stories Each Chemo Experience Is Unique

First, I flipped out because of the portrayals of chemo that Iâd seen in the movies. Then, I flipped out again when I went to a support group meeting and met women already going through chemo. As they discussed their suffering and fear and side effects, I felt sure that my chemo experience was going to be just like that.

It wasnât. Everyoneâs chemo experience is completely different. In that support group meeting, I listened to a woman who had endured multiple hospitalizations because their immune system had been compromised. They were so sick that sometimes the docs had to postpone their infusion to give them time to get a little stronger. Another woman said they didnât want to eat because everything tasted like metal to them. Yet another said they were struggling with itchy skin rashes.

None of these things ended up happening to me. Different things did, and they werenât fun. But they werenât as bad as Iâd feared, either. Remember that each body reacts differently to particular drugs. You may have a tough time, or you may not. The best thing to do is wait and see.

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If you have Hodgkin lymphoma, you probably want to know if there are things you can do that might lower your risk of the lymphoma coming back, such as exercising, eating a certain type of diet, or taking nutritional supplements. Unfortunately, its not yet clear if there are things you can do that will help.

Adopting healthy behaviors such as not smoking, eating well, getting regular physical activity, and staying at a healthy weight might help, but no one knows for sure. However, we do know that these types of changes can have positive effects on your health that can extend beyond your risk of HL or other cancers.

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During Your First Chemotherapy Infusion

Plan to spend the day at the hospital or treatment center. When you arrive, a healthcare provider will check your vital signs, height and weight. Youll probably have blood drawn as well. This information helps the healthcare team provide the proper dose of chemotherapy drugs.

Expect to wait after your initial tests and blood draw. Chemotherapy medication cannot be prepared in advance it must be mixed to exact specifications and that takes time.

When the healthcare team is ready, youll be settled in an infusion area. A nurse will access your catheter or port or insert an IV and may administer some IV fluids and medication. If you have any questions about whats happening, ask. Staff members want you to feel comfortable and informed.

Your chemotherapy drugs will be administered through your IV, port or catheter. You might not feel anything unusual at all, or you may experience a flushed feeling or metallic taste in your mouth. Depending on your specific treatment protocol, additional medications that prevent or lessen nausea and vomiting may also be administered. Report any symptoms to your nurse. She or he will be watching you closely anyway, especially during your first treatment. In fact, expect to stay awhile after your infusion is complete. Staff wont let you go home until theyre sure youre feeling OK.

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