After your treatment has ended, you will still be coping with how it affects your body. Because it take time to get over the effects, self care during chemo is crucial. What you experience may be related to the type of medications you received.
It’s also important to understand that no two people are alike. Therefore, you may experience changes that are different from someone else’s. Even if they received the same treatment and had the same type of cancer.
This article will discuss some of the problems that can occur after each treatment session.
Self Care After Chemo: Managing Side Effects
Chemotherapy can cause skin changes. Some of these changes can include skin and nail discoloration, rash, dry and itchy skin, and mouth sores. But for most people, these changes in the skin will resolve after treatment has finished.
Treating cancer is more than the treatments or surgery. It’s also about self care during chemo and finding some respite from what can feel like an all-encompassing disease. With this in mind, here are 4 ways to cope:
- Turn off your phone. In today’s ever-connected world, this might seem a bit insane. But turning off your phone for even an hour can give you permission to be quiet. Binge watch your favorite show, read a book, take a nap, or just enjoy some peace. Albeit these activities might seem minor, they are actually critical to your emotional wellbeing.
- Outsource communication. This self care tip during chemo is a must-do. If you don’t, you’ll be repeating the same conversations about treatment to multiple people. And no one wants the thought of cancer up in their face on the regular. Instead, designate a family member or close friend to be your communications director. They can call family, send emails and texts. And if you have a Caring Page, let them keep that updated also. This will keep everybody informed without being a drain on the person with cancer.
- Broaden your circle of supporters. Cancer treatment can mean that you’re only spending time with one or two people. But if you think about it, even the happiest families don’t spend 24/7 together, else they’d drive each other crazy. Instead, find friends that you have similar or complementary hobbies. For example, a friend you craft with or enjoy watching movies with. It’s a way to get that respite for yourself and broaden your circle of supporters.
- Learn to say no if necessary. Sometimes people may call you in an effort to cheer you up. This may be during a time when you’ve just had a treatment and simply don’t feel like talking. You could say something like, ‘I was just about to take a nap and don’t want to doze off on you. Can I call you later?’ Not only is this a small way to disengage, but it can also provide a big sense of relief.
Staying Mentally and Emotionally Healthy During Cancer Treatment
As previously stated, chemo can cause skin changes. Visible changes like skin and nail discoloration can make you feel less like your beautiful self. Although these side effects generally resolve after treatment, they impact you mentally and emotionally in the meantime.
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Do Things That Bring You Joy
Given that every individual is different, there is no one size fits all joyful activity. For you, it might be listening to music; for others it’s gardening. In essence, it’s all about what restores you. So, as much as possible include doing those things. Or you can introduce new activities into your routine.