Day-to-day practicalities

Living with lymphoma can have an impact on day-to-day practicalities. This page tells you where you can find out more and get help with some of these aspects.

On this page

Driving

Financial support

Stopping smoking

Studying

Vaccinations

Driving

Some treatments (for example anti-sickness medications) can make it unsafe to drive. If your treatments make you drowsy, or if your illness is affecting your concentration, you must contact the Driving & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You must also inform the DVLA if you have peripheral neuropathy. 

The UK government website has information about how to inform the DVLA.

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Financial support

Your employer must, by law, make any ‘reasonable adjustments’ that allow you to continue working while you are having treatment and afterwards. If you are self-employed, you will need to consider how you will manage your work and finances if you are unable to work.

Macmillan Cancer support has information about financial support if you are living with or caring for someone with lymphoma. They also run a benefits advice service.

The UK government website has information about the various benefits that may be available to you, including the ‘Carer’s allowance’.

Business Debtline offers confidential, independent, free advice on debt and cash flow problems for people who are self-employed

Citizens Advice provides advice about the law, benefits and financial entitlements. Visit your local Citizens Advice office for information about finding independent benefits advice. 

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Stopping smoking

Smoking increases your likelihood of developing infections, particularly in the lungs. The risk is even higher if you are having treatment for lymphoma. By stopping smoking, you will also lower your risk of developing problems in the longer term; including other cancers, heart disease and stroke.

NHS Choices has information and advice to help you quit smoking.

Smokefree NHS offers one-to-one and group support from trained advisors to help you quit smoking.

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Studying

You may need to take time off from your studies, particularly during treatment. Talk to your school or university about your situation. Your doctor will also need to write a letter to them.

If you are at school, you should be able to get some help with your studies.  Universities are usually as flexible as possible within the limitations set out by the examination boards.

The UK government website has more information about educational support for children who have a medical condition.

CLIC Sargent has information about taking time out of school for treatment and about reasonable adjustments to help you to continue your education, training and employment

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Vaccinations

Most vaccinations are safe for people who have had lymphoma.

Speak to your doctor for advice specific to your situation. As a general guide:

  • you may be told to wait 6–12 months after finishing treatment before having a vaccination
  • it’s advisable to have the annual winter flu jab
  • if you’ve had your spleen removed or you have had a stem cell transplant, you need additional vaccines
  • if you’re going abroad, you might need specific vaccinations
  • live vaccines, such as the shingles vaccine, may pose a risk to the health of someone with lymphoma. You should discuss the shingles vaccine with your doctor or specialist nurse before having it.

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Further reading

Related content

GOV.UK

This government website has information on various benefits that may be available to you.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provides advice about the law, benefits and financial entitlements.