Preparing For Chemotherapy: A Guide

Your cancer treatment and your body’s reaction to the treatment are entirely unique. Whatever the side effects, you want to keep your life on track, during and after treatment. Make your journey through chemotherapy as smooth as possible. Plan, eat well, and know who’s there for you. A strong mind is your most powerful ally. Have a strategy that matches your needs, and allow yourself care and rest. Here are some ways to manage your daily life through therapy.

Plan Ahead

You can immediately feel stronger just by preparing. Be kind to yourself and expect your body to be more fragile from the treatment. Plan on taking things slow, step-by-step. If you do a lot in your daily routine, have a serious look at which things matters most. What tasks can be removed, and what can be differed?

Work

Who you talk about your cancer with is at your discretion. At work it is advisable to notify your employer in advance of treatment to discuss possible changes that might be required to your workload and/or working hours. Chemotherapy treatments and their effects on people vary widely. Your treatment may not have any effect on your ability to work. Just be advised that your health comes first, listen to your body and listen to your doctor.

Working from home, or taking fewer hours are also possibilities. If your treatment requires you to spend more time in hospital sick leave will be necessary. You will be entitled to statutory sick pay if you are unable work for more than four days at a time and you earn enough to pay National Insurance.

Preparing For Chemotherapy A Guide

Eating

Eat healthy right away. Eating your “seven a day” will strengthen your immune system in advance of treatment. Get in the habit of preparing meals and storing them in the freezer, a quick and easy healthy meal is vital when your body is tired. Many small meals are usually easier to ingest than just one or two large meals during therapy. Set a meal schedule and try and stick to it as much as possible. Also, family and friends can help assure you are eating properly if food tastes bland due to the chemicals in your body.

Buying for Chemo

Having healthy nonperishables at home and on hand will help you stay healthy when you don’t have the energy to go shopping. Many people prepare for treatment by buying a wig. Alopecia isn’t a given as many people think, due to the individual nature of chemotherapy treatments you may keep your hair. In case you do experience hair loss you might want to look for a natural hair wig. Give yourself a confidence booster and feel stylish. Maintaining normalcy will help improve your wellbeing.

Tests and Consultation

Your doctor will guide you through your necessary pre-chemotherapy preparations. There will be a series of blood and radiological tests. It is absolutely essential to maintain good dental health. A dental exam will be required prior to treatment to avoid any risk of infection through the gums. Rinsing with baking soda and warm water can keep away mouth sores.  Be completely thorough with your doctor about any prior health conditions and issues, even if you think they are minor or insignificant. But the most important thing is to eat right and get lots of rest to prepare your body.

Building a Support Network

Family and friends are there to help when times are tough. Don’t be afraid to ask for their support. You may not be able to manage as much in your day-to-day life during treatment. Even with all the right health practices in place love and support are monumental to recovery.  Mental health is equal to physical health when it comes to recovery.  Close friends and family can provide a very personal support while talking with strangers can offer you new perspectives. Meeting others going through similar hardships and sharing experiences and worries can be very comforting. Many support groups are out there to help get you through your cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Cancer Research UK offers a wealth of information from treatment types to ways of coping with cancer and even a cancer chat forum. Routines will help you get through your day now and later, while simple, essential physical preparation like eating well and exercising regularly will help prepare your body’s immune system.  Meanwhile, you can help achieve a positive mind and spirit with support networks as you focus on getting better rather than on the risks. Also, you may wish to consider meditation as a way to centre the mind on your steady, positive progress.