10 Tips For Getting Through Chemotherapy
Going through chemo is an especially hard side-effect of cancer. Sadly, chemotherapy can take a huge toll on your body, energy, and mind. Thus, you should make yourself familiar with the changes that lie ahead. That way, this chapter on your journey to recovery won’t seem so daunting and scary after all.
In fact, there are many things to make chemo patients feel better. So, it is a good idea to research ways to ease this stress. Our chemo tips and tricks will show you how to make chemo that bit easier.
So, we compiled a list of our top 10 chemotherapy tips and tricks.
This is also a useful guide for those of you who want to know how to help chemo patients. You will learn what to do for someone going through chemo. Also, you will get ideas on how to help someone going through chemo. Finally, you will discover how to support someone going through chemo.
Fatigue is a highly experienced side-effect of chemo. So, finding the right steps towards deep relaxation is vital. In turn, this will help your mind and body unwind. Cancer patients usually find that mindfulness apps are useful resources. Also, there are plenty of free guided meditations on Youtube and Google Podcasts. Search for guided sleep meditations if you have trouble going to sleep. Also, investing in a weighted blanket is a great chemo tip.
- Have a routine
Following a routine will give you more energy. So, aim to get up at the same time every day. Eat at set times during the day and go to bed at a certain time. Remember that consistent sleeping patterns are especially important during chemo. Also, include gentle exercise in your daily routine. For instance, walking helps the immune system as well as reduces fatigue and nausea.
These are all useful things to help with chemo. Plus, feeling a sense of normalcy will allow you to feel more present and content.
- Keep hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential during chemotherapy. So, make sure you drink plenty of water the day before and after your chemo sessions. Drinking fluids before chemo prepares your body for the dehydration that chemo causes. Plus, keeping hydrated the day after helps in flushing out the chemo medication.
Taking lip balm to chemo sessions is a useful habit as often you will experience dry, chapped lips.
- Build a solid support network
This is so important. Please don’t feel as if you have to go through chemo alone or that you are a burden to others. In fact, establishing a support network made up of friends and family members will take the strain away.
Patients often ask, “Can you drive after chemo?” In fact, we advise against driving after chemo sessions as you can feel especially run down and tired. Therefore, find a designated driver who is available to take you to and from your appointments. Making yourself available to do chores around the house such as cleaning and cooking is a useful way to help someone going through chemotherapy. No doubt, they will greatly appreciate it.
- Have a balanced diet
During chemotherapy, it is vital to have a healthy, balanced diet. A great tip is to try out soups and smoothies to increase the number of vitamins. You will need to balance your blood sugar levels and reduce your caffeine intake.
- Occupy yourself
Are you wondering what to do during chemotherapy sessions? Finding things to do during chemo will help you pass the time. Popular ideas and activities include taking a coloring book, crosswords, knitting, and crotchet. Taking headphones to chemo is also a great idea. You can listen to your favorite music, podcasts, and meditations. Try to find activities that don’t involve looking at a screen. That is because it reduces the risk of drying your eyes and getting a headache during sessions.
- Prepare for hair loss
This is an especially hard part to come to terms with. Particularly as hair plays such an integral role in our appearance and identity. Chemo affects the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, underarm and pubic regions.
There are various ways to prepare for hair loss. Just, ensure you choose whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Some people decide to cut their hair short before chemo or shave it. There is no wrong or right way to go about it. But try to not compare yourself to others. Remember that everyone’s cancer journey is different and unique.
In fact, investing in headwear or wigs can help you through this transition. It is your chance to work out what looks, colors, styles, and lengths appeal to you. Also, you can mask any hair loss during this transition period.
Remember that once your hair has fallen out you should protect your scalp from UV rays. So, begin to use sunblock or headwear to avoid burning your scalp.
Another way to prepare for hair loss is to think about how you can disguise hair loss on the face. Invest in false eyelashes and draw on eyebrows to help you look like your former self.
- Allow yourself to ask for help
During this period, it is common to feel especially vulnerable and alone. But try to be resilient and speak to your family and friends. Remember that your nurses and doctor are there to help you. They can answer any questions you have on how to get through chemo. Plus, they can give you tips for your first chemo treatment.
- Find comfort
Chemo sessions can feel very daunting and physically uncomfortable. So, avoid tight, itchy clothing and wear soft, comfortable clothes. Pack your favorite snack, a soft blanket, and a book to pass the time.
- Keep your body moving
Staying active is essential during chemotherapy treatment. It is what helps chemo patients feel better. In fact, gentle cardio exercise can help combat common side effects of chemotherapy. So, try out gentle walking or stretching.