Anyone who has undergone chemotherapy or those who know anyone who has chemotherapy treatment knows how difficult it is to fight the side effects of this treatment. While ultimately it is intended to destroy cancer cells, chemotherapy has side effects that are completely unpleasant and may even last as long as the duration of the chemotherapy treatment.
If you or someone you know is undergoing chemotherapy, here are some ways you can combat or cope with the difficulties of chemotherapy side effects.
- Allot a few minutes in a day to bring your mind to a calm and happy place. Be aware of your breathing, be conscious of it or play slow soothing music in the background. Overall, this can help you rest, relax, and generally feel better.
- Many patients find that light exercise improves their blood flow, and makes them feel better. Simple and easy exercises such as walking, riding a bike, and doing yoga can help you feel rejuvenated. Ensure that you consult first with your doctor about your light exercise plan before starting it.
- Join a support group. Because chemotherapy may be emotionally draining, find ways to connect with other people. Other cancer patients are willing to share their stories and feelings to help brighten up and lighten the feelings of other patients. There are communities and groups where you can share your difficulties and unload all other emotional burdens that you might be feeling. There are a lot of people that are willing to help, more than you know. If you cannot travel, there are online support groups where you can get emotional support.
Your family, of course, or spiritual counselor can give you the support (and laughs) that you need during this challenging time.
- Communicate with your doctor. Any feelings of discomfort, whether physical of emotional should be communicated to your medical team. By prescribing medicines or offering alternative support systems, they can give you advice on what is best - after all, they are there to help you feel better.
- Acupuncture is administered to some patients to relieve pain and tension. Again, consult first with your doctor about any alternative procedures you may want to undertake.
- Ask your doctor how you can improve your diet to include comfort foods, or maybe even oral medications that can relieve your feelings of anxiety or sadness.
As with any other cancer such as pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, or liver cancer, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy can be stressful to the patient because of side effects.
Chemotherapy is good for cancer treatment, but it has to hurt somewhere (even financially of course). Knowing how to cope with it can generally make you feel better about your health and be more optimistic about your recovery. It is important that taking care of yourself is not only dependent on medicines but also on how well you take care of yourself.