4 (More) Tips For Cancer Patients and Chemotherapy Beginners
Keep kicking cancer in the b**, and everywhere else!
Time for another round of chemo tips! These are new tips that I gathered recently since my last story 6 Tips For Cancer Patients and Chemotherapy beginners, go check it out as this is a sequel to that story.
I would like to clarify that this is my experience with the ABVD treatment. Every treatment and every body is different, so you might not experience everything that I am experiencing, but I hope you find at least some of it helpful!
* I am moving to another treatment in a few days, so I will report with a part 3 soon! *
This is not much of a tip, but more of a warning. The chemo is brutal, and just like it will stop your hair from growing, it will also stop everything else from growing. That includes your fingernails. I might be exaggerating, they might grow a little, but beware that they will take much longer and get damaged as well. A good way for both boys and girls to keep their nails healthy while going through chemo is nail polish. Yes, nail polish will help! Now going to a pedicure is practically a necessity. And for those of us that don’t find getting their nails done exhilarating, clear nail polish will work just fine. Another thing that will help immensely is to file your nails (if you need to) instead of cutting them. That will keep them healthy and you’ll have control over the length you want them. If you cut them too short, they might not come back in a while.
#2 - Constipation
Yes. Constipation. What a shitty thing indeed. You thought we were not going to talk about this right… Well, here we are. Yes , the chemo will definitely mess with your tummy, and along with it, your stool and number 2’s. Some people have it the other way around and experience diarrhea instead, but constipation is the more common side effect. You might be tempted to treat it with natural remedies like coffee or plump juice, and while all this is great I implore you to still take the pills your doctor gave you. Do both. Yes, please do both.
But the hack that should be talked about isn't something that many want to discuss, but should be known to anyone who is about to go through this. This kind of constipation is going to be rough, and will cause a lot of pain during the outing. To not cause immense pain and potential damage to the area, please talk to your doctor about what you can take to ease the whole process, before you start! Super important.
#3- A Morning Routine
I know it might sound funny, but I’m serious. A morning routine and a daily schedule does help tremendously with pain, both physical and mental. What a lot don’t talk about is the trauma that cancer patients are undergoing. Stopping your life so abruptly, and the torture that is treating this disease, isn’t easy for anyone. While most cancer patients around the world are provided with mental help through the healthcare system, it is incredibly helpful to keep yourself busy and try to enjoy the good days as much as you can, maybe even expressing yourself through some kind of art or physical activity.
Having a morning routine will set you up for a great day, and I am not just saying that. Try, just for a little while, to have a routine on your good days consisting of a shower, yoga or any type of exercise, and some relaxing music before you get on with your day. Even just trying to wake up the same hour everyday and start the day with a cup of coffee or tea will make a difference for you. I know I do it because it makes me feel good and clears my mind, and I’m sure it will do the same for you.
#12- Skin Care
The chemo is going to feel weird. Very weird. Part of that weirdness is the way your skin will feel. It will not only dry up just like your scalp, but also will be different to the touch. That's because your nerves are getting damaged in the process. No don’t panic! It’s ok, but it's good to know in case of the rare side effect called ‘Neuropathy’, which means permanent nerve damage. If you feel like this weird feeling and aching is getting worse and worse, perhaps it’s a good idea to call your doctor.
The other reason that your skin is feeling weird is because it’s extremely dry. Just like it dries up your scalp, the chemo will do the same to your skin, it’s just a slower process. It might not be as itchy as your head, but it will not feel great. It will not feel like you. Don’t take a genius to figure out what you can do; buy bulks of body lotion and cream. There you have it.
That's all for today folks! Looking forward to sharing more of what I'm currently learning about this journey, I hope this help someone out there. If you or your loved one is going through treatments right now, my heart is with you. Just know that someone out there understands, and is here for you. Feel free to reach out if you need to: @coralmiz123
Keep at it champions. You got this.