Chemotherapy, designed to kill fast-growing cancer cells, can also affect healthy cells – in fact damaged healthy cells cause side effects during your chemo. Here are 7 surprising ways to manage side effects during chemo treatment:
1. Rest doesn’t always help you fight fatigue. Exercise has been shown to reduce fatigue, but you may need to spread your activities throughout the day with frequent rest breaks. Stick with a bedtime and waking routine.
2. You can actually anticipate side effects. They vary widely depending on your chemo and other contributing factors. Talk with your doctor or nurse about strategies for coping with your particular cancer therapy’s side effects. You can also find out more about managing side effects in our patient handbook
3. You may experience side effects long after treatment ends. Some side effects from chemo stay around for longer periods. Talk with your doctor or nurse about long-term effects and ways you can manage them.
4. Don’t lie down immediately after eating. This will help you avoid nausea and vomiting. Also, try one of the anti-nausea medicines that has been ordered for you. If it doesn’t work, talk with your doctor or nurse about getting a different one.
5. Sleep on a satin pillowcase to help decrease pulling on, and losing hair.
6. Do not use mouthwash that contains alcohol. It may irritate your mouth and throat, which are tender from chemotherapy.
7. Eat small frequent meals instead of three large meals and drink 8 -10 glasses of liquid per day to manage diarrhea.