Follow a few strategies to help you cope with the challenges that come along with chemo.
Chemotherapy is often a prescribed treatment for cancer for good reason, however it can take a toll on the patient. Here are a few strategies for coping with some common side effects while chemo works to cure your cancer or prevent it from spreading.
• Wash your hands. Chemotherapy increases your risk for infection, so it's important to try to avoid harmful germs. Practice good hygiene habits including properly washing hands in order to help stay healthy.
• Get extra rest. Chemo often leaves a patient feeling fatigued. You'll likely not be as energetic as usual and may not even feel up to doing everyday tasks. Don't overdo it; instead try to get plenty of rest.
• Eat. Talk with your doctor about medication to help ease nausea or diarrhea that interferes with your appetite. Aim to get maximum nutrition from each bite, and consume enough calories and protein to keep energy up. Try eating small meals and snacks, and consider nutritional supplement beverages if you find it easier to drink than to eat.
• Prepare for possible hair loss. Find out if hair loss is a likely side effect of the drug(s) you're being treated with, and if it is, try to prepare yourself. If you think you would like to wear a hat or a wig, shop for one ahead of time.
• Lean on your support system. Pay attention to your mental health in an effort to help prevent depression. Surround yourself with family and friends, and accept offers of help if you need it. Consider joining a cancer patient support group.
The Medical Center of Plano prides itself on compassionately serving cancer patients in the North Texas community for more than 35 years. To learn more about chemotherapy, read our online Health Information pages. Find out about our Cancer Services, including community support groups, by visiting us online. If you would like to request a physician referral, give us a call at 1-855-665-TMCP (8627).