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10 Ways to Make Chemotherapy a Little More Comfortable

There are numerous ways to prepare ahead of your chemotherapy sessions, and your care team will discuss the chemotherapy plan in advance, which will assist in making this journey a bit more pleasant.

The chemotherapy road that lies ahead may seem like a long and tiring journey, and we’ve put together some ‘road trip’ essentials to make this journey a little more comforting and relaxing.

1. Chemotherapy companion

You may want a chemotherapy companion, whether a family member or a close friend, especially at your 1st session, to assist you if needed. Your 1st session can be scary, not knowing what comes next or how you may feel after your treatment, and your companion is there to support you however you need, to distract you and to give you their heartfelt company.

2. Hydration is key

Keep enough water and liquids on hand to quench your thirst and replenish lost electrolytes. Coconut water and sports drinks will help replenish lost electrolytes. Chemotherapy has a dehydration effect on your cells, and it’s helpful to stay hydrated through the process.

3. Lip balm, lotion or cream

The dehydration effects can be felt on your skin and lips; lip balm and lotion keep you comfortable.

4. Snacks

Eat light a few hours before treatment and carry with you some of your favourite healthy snack bars, vegetable sticks, or fruit for when your tummy begins to speak to you. If your specific chemotherapy regimen comprises long sessions, take some chicken broth or nourishing soup to keep your energy levels up and the hunger away. Mints, ginger chews and gummies can help with any taste changes caused by the treatment.

5. Books, music, a tablet or phone, earphones, and a power bank

Take this time to catch up on some reading. Books are a great way to pass the time, feed your imagination, or learn something new. Listen to some music or even a podcast to help keep you relaxed.

6. Journal, colouring book or sketchbook

Journaling has been known to help tremendously as an outlet and a way of expressing your thoughts, emotions, and physical well-being. Get your creativity going and use that adult colouring book, or show your hand at some original sketches.

7. Crafts, puzzles and other games

Complete that crochet project that you’ve been holding off on, knit that winter scarf you’ve saved on your Pinterest or play those puzzles and games on apps you’ve downloaded onto your phone or tablet. Consider playing a board game with your companion or even another patient who is present.

8. Essential oils

The use of essential oils can benefit you in many ways. Chamomile can reduce stress, while sage promotes relaxation. Ginger relieves nausea, and it may help to carry a little bottle to ease any nausea felt during your chemotherapy session.

9.Your very own relaxation tools

Always wear comfortable clothing to your treatment and carry along items to increase your comfort. Be it a neck pillow, a blanket, a hot water bottle or just comfy socks and slippers. Add in items to help you relax and be at ease.

10. Complementary therapy

Acupressure wristbands have been clinically proven to relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea. Complementary therapy such as meditation, counselling and acupuncture may assist with chemotherapy’s physical and emotional side effects. Acupuncture is known to help with nausea, and a good massage can ease those body aches, stress, and anxiety.

As a reminder, always speak to your doctor to address any concerns and side effects you experience and ways to get ahead of them if possible.

Stay positive and hopeful. Chemotherapy is a difficult journey, but it is possible to get through it.

Disclaimer

The information provided above is intended to assist you in your journey and not as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please always consult your doctor before changing your health care regimen.

References

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