Chemotherapy is a word that causes dread in most who hear it. It is a time of stress as well as risk. If you, or someone you know, are facing chemotherapy, these four simple steps may help get through the process with better spirits and better results as well.
- Tell your doctor if you get side effects from treatment
You can’t expect the possibility of relief from side effects if you do not share them with your doctor. Be sure to communicate with your doctor or cancer specialist. Some people keep a health journal during and after treatment to improve the information you have to present to your doctor if problems arise more gradually. Discuss what you might keep in a health journal that might improve the effectiveness of your treatment.
- Ask your doctor before you take any other medicine
All drugs operate by manipulating some normal cell function. This includes the chemotherapy drugs as well. These manipulations may conflict with the intended effects of your chemotherapy treatment. Even herbals, or an over the counter pain reliever can lead to unintended consequences. Always inform your doctor before taking any other medications.
- Take care of your health
There are many things you can do to support the natural ability of your body to restore, protect and defend itself from the effects of injury and disease. Seek to improve your diet, find ways to reduce other sources of stress in your life and be thankful for the hope and opportunity you have because of your treatment. These things can have a remarkable effect on your body and your feeling of good health.
- Talk about your feelings
These are stressful times. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up. People you know and love are probably feeling stress too. Help each other by being open about what you are going through. By being open with others, you can feel more in control of the stress and trepidation you’re feeling, instead of those things being in control of you.
Self-help can never take the place of professional health care. Ask your doctor and nurse any questions you may have about chemotherapy. Also, don’t hesitate to tell them about any side affects you may have. They want and need to know.