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Chemotherapy Tips

Chemotherapy is an often-essential cancer treatment, attacking cells that divide quickly and helping stop cancer’s advance. But, what makes chemotherapy effective against cancer also can make it toxic to healthy cells, leading to side effects such as hair loss, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and fatigue.

1. Take one day at a time.

Few things can counteract the side effects of chemotherapy. That said, however, always keep a positive attitude, taking one day at a time. “In my case, I would remind myself all day “this will end today.”  Sometimes it was a number of days, but my mental positive attitude helped me deal with it.

2. Use your imagination to help food taste good.

Eating is difficult for many people during cancer treatment, so  try to play mind tricks on yourself. Eat foods with color. Maybe use extra seasoning. Colorful foods have the highest nutrients. If you have a metal taste in your mouth from platinum based chemotherapy, use plastic forks.

3. Let yourself take a break.

Treatment can be tiring and you may feel quite fatigued.  Listen to your body. If you are tired/sleepy, lay down. Don’t try to over do it.

4. Lean on your family and friends.

Your family and friends will be your biggest supporters. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes people want to help but simply do not know what they can do. How about setting up a meal calendar. Ask family and friends to provide meals on the day of and day after of each treatment. It is one less thing you need to worry about.

5. Be your own advocate.

Always, Always, Always. Is the medication to prevent nausea helping? If not, speak up – tell your health care team. When your doctor suggests a test that you are not familiar with, ask questions – What is this? What will it tell you?

The bottom line is, chemotherapy is hard. Some people have mild side effects, some people have more serious effects. YOU know what feels right to you. Do not feel afraid to ask your doctor/nurse any questions that start with, “is it normal that I…”

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • PeteConaty
    10 months ago

    Again I have to say thanks for the information I’ve been getting from the group. But I see only from the same people. The info is great, but are there more people with their own experiences and advice?

  • Margot moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi @PeteConaty,

    In addition to articles from our contributors, you can see more stories from the community here on our Stories page: https://lungcancer.net/stories where you can also share your own! And in Forums: https://lungcancer.net/forums/ Hope this helps!

    Best,
    Margot, LungCancer.net Team

  • ninaclare
    1 year ago

    I will start the immune therapy.will my Medicare cover the cost?.I also have a supplement insurance.so far all my chemo an radiation have been paid for.

  • Margot moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi @ninaclare,

    Thanks for your question – while we cannot offer medical advice online, you may find an oncology social worker to be very helpful in figuring out these costs and helping to advocate for you and help with Medicare and insurance questions! More information can be found here; many find oncology social workers a really helpful resource!

    https://lungcancer.net/living/find-your-advocate-oncology-social-work/

    One of our writers also wrote about her experience with insurance and immunotherapy here that may help: https://lungcancer.net/living/insurance-agony/

    Thinking of you. Please do keep us updated!

    Best,
    Margot, LungCancer.net Team Member

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