Cancer and its treatment is tough on the body and mind, but there are steps you can take to ease the side effects of chemotherapy. I wrote this post to explain the concepts I review with patients as preparation for their treatment.
This is the first post of a three-part series of my Top 5 Tips for Chemotherapy:
If your medical oncologist has prescribed chemotherapy, here are my top five tips that can help you prepare. Think positive, think that you will get through this!
- Make sure you are hydrated. Try to drink plenty of fluids since lots of chemotherapy can affect your kidneys.
- Make sure you get enough sleep. Patients who get more rest tend to do better physically and emotionally.
- Know what your blood counts are prior to chemo. Most chemotherapy can suppress your bone marrow. After chemo, you may need red blood cell or platelet transfusions. You may also need medications such as Neupogen or Neulasta injections to help stimulate white cell production to fight infections.
- Make sure you have medications for nausea. Some patients have more nausea than others. Most regimen have anti-nausea medications given prior to chemo. However, it is a good idea to come with extra just in case you have more nausea than expected.
- Make sure you understand the side effects. Every doctor has the obligation to tell you every known side effect associated with that particular chemo, based on the studies that were done. What you should to keep in mind is that some patients do experience severe side effects but most patients don’t.
Bonus Tip: Know where the chemo suite is. As long as you know in advance where you are going prior to the chemo, you will be more confident and relaxed on the day of treatment.
Continue reading the Top 5 Tips During Chemotherapy.