Once you receive that frightening diagnosis that you have cancer, your next challenge is the therapy, and most of the time they aren’t too pleasant. If you are facing this ordeal, consider these 6 ways to care for yourself before, during, and after chemotherapy.
Swallow Your Pride And Ask For Some Help
The friends and relatives who love you will come out of the woodwork to help anyway they can. Unless you have a partner who can drive you to chemotherapy and pick you up each day, this is a perfect way to allow your friends to help out.
Since a session takes several hours, it can be different people taking you and bringing you home. You will be tired and probably unable to drive yourself, so don’t. These same people can help with little chores around the house and even bring some nutritious meals to help keep you strong throughout.
Your pet loving friends might offer to help out with your dog or cat, so let them. Your immune system will be compromised during this time, so it’s best to avoid a lot of time with your furry friends.
Share Your Schedule With Your Boss
Let your boss know what is happening and when you will most likely be unavailable. If you keep working during chemo, your schedule and workload could be reduced.
Talk with HR about your insurance coverage and any disability benefits you may have.
See Your Dentist
Chemotherapy can wreak havoc on your mouth. Sores and infections can occur, so have a thorough cleaning before beginning your course. Use a soft toothbrush and alcohol free mouthwash during this time.
Pick Out A Wig
If you ever wanted to try a new hairstyle or color, now would be a good time. If you prefer to not draw attention to your chemo, find one similar in style and color to your natural hair. Not everyone loses their hair, but it’s better to be prepared.
While you are undergoing chemo, you should drink lots of water since the procedure will cause you to become dehydrated. Drink ample water the day before and the days right after.
Diarrhea and vomiting are common side effects of chemo, so staying hydrated will keep you strong. This can include decaffeinated tea, juice, and soft drinks also.
Rest As Much As You Need
This is not the time to feel guilty for taking naps or sleeping in. Chemotherapy will cause you to be fatigued and rest will help you remain strong and help to build up your immunity.
Don’t be shy about asking questions of your doctor and your care team. They are there to help you.
Contact WMC Cancer Center if you have additional questions or concerns about your chemotherapy.