Though chemo has the potential to save lives, it is also a therapy that is troublesome in itself and which can cause side effects and very severe distress to the cancer sufferer.
Dealing with nausea
Nausea is a very common side effect and to combat this make dietary changes to exclude fatty, greasy foods and identify other nausea triggers as well. Eating smaller meals and avoiding large meals will also help avoid nausea and discomfort.
Avoid food and beverages that are very cold or very hot; rather try to have items closer to room temperature. Also avoid strong smells because these can also trigger nausea.
Guard against dehydration by keeping up fluid intake. This can be difficult because things that you otherwise like can taste different and unpleasant due to the chemo.
Experts advise trying flavored mineral water or adding lemon to regular water to help combat the fact that water commonly seems to change taste at this time.
Eating healthy not only means that a greater amount of nutrients reach the body and help it fight the cancer, having more fresh produce can help combat weight gain and constipation that are common side effects of chemo.
Also avoid alcohol, highly spiced foods and very hot items so that any more sores are not further exacerbated.
Rinsing the mouth with salt water after meals is recommended to help ease sores in the mouth. It may be helpful to consult a nutritionist so that you can obtain advice about what is best to eat and avoid when undergoing chemo, given your set of circumstances.
It can make you feel better – just walking, riding a bike or doing yoga can help. Exercise gives you more energy, helps you sleep better and even helps combat fatigue, another common chemo side effect.
Prioritize and do things in their order of importance. If required take time off, and get help around the house. Also prioritize rest and good quality sleep and rest when tired – this helps with the healing process and gives you more energy. if possible take short naps during the day and sleep at least 8 hours at night.
Depression, anxiety, stress, can also be common at this difficult time in life. Take the time to help relax, and learn relaxation techniques such as meditation, visualization and so on. before bed, have a soothing routine that will help you wind down and sleep better – a relaxing bath, soothing music and so on can help.
Try and make yourself feel better
FOX News Channel correspondent Jennifer Griffin was diagnosed with Stage 3 triple negative breast cancer and had the following useful tips to deal with chemo – she tells us that no one in Hollywood wears their own hair and that getting a good quality wig beforehand can be great and fun idea.
She advises that women should look after their skin with some good lotion because the chemo dries it out. Referring to the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good, Feel Better” campaign, she says it is important to try and look your best to boost your courage and confidence.