Getting Through Chemo: Tips

Chemotherapy is bloody hard, isn’t it? It’s unfortunate that to destroy a cancerous tumour, we sometimes have to insert toxic chemicals into our body.

We must be living the dream.

The sessions of chemotherapy are bad enough, but the struggles afterwards can sometimes be even worse.

So let’s welcome 2019 with my tips of getting through chemotherapy.

Be Prepared, Mentally

Being prepared pretty much covers all bases. About to leave your house for chemotherapy? Be prepared. Just finished your chemotherapy? Be prepared.

When I would wake up in the morning for my chemotherapy at 9:30am, I would psyche myself up. “You need this chemotherapy Nicole, this is how you will survive. If we get this one done and out the way, then we’ve only got two more left to go.” (You can use these words, if you don’t know what to tell yourself.) Ultimately, find words or phrases that help you mentally prepare yourself for what you’re about to endure.

Literally, you never know how each chemotherapy is going to go, so it’s best you don’t go in thinking about what’s going to happen. Just take each moment at a time and don’t overwhelm yourself.

Try and remember why you’re doing this, and why you need chemotherapy. It’s hard sometimes, but try and think positively just before you go in. Or, if you need a little cry beforehand, all feelings are completely valid.

Bring On The Boredom

Chemotherapy is so boring.

You can be stuck in that chair for hours on end, and there’s nothing worse when you have nothing to do. My first tip for this one, bring someone with you. Let them suffer with you… just kidding (sort of). Having a bit of moan and a gossip with someone else, can make you forget about your own problems for a little bit. Ignore that annoying machine beeping every two minutes, and indulge in someone else’s problems.

My person would always go for a walk, or nip to the shops, lucky them. The time they’re absent can be boring. A lot of people brought me word-search puzzle books specifically for chemotherapy, I’m not really sure why? I didn’t mention to anyone I wanted a word-search. But hey ho, they actually came in handy. You could also bring a book, maybe your iPad, a magazine, something to help pass the time.

The Joys of Social Media

Not

Maybe I’m alone on this one. But social media was a pain in my arse. I didn’t want to read what Sally was getting up to on a Monday morning, or what John ate for breakfast. It’s hard enough having chemotherapy, let alone reading people’s worthless problems. A part of me wanted to comment, excuse me but I would much rather have this problem than having cancer, but you don’t see me writing a status every two minutes complaining. Sorry Sally and John. Maybe log out of your social media accounts for a while, until you’re mentally ready again. At the end of the day, people post what they like on social media, and it can make you feel angry, taking a break just helps you remember what’s important and what’s not.

You need to be in the right mind set for social media. Of course, this is just a tip, you don’t need to do this if you don’t want to.

Anti-sickness is Your Best Friend

Listen up, because this one is important.

Chemotherapy can make you feel very sick. You may even vomit. This was a huge side effect that I struggled with, and I’m sure many of you can relate.

These little tablets can work wonders, if you use them correctly. When I was first given them, I thought I just took one when I started to feel sick. Which does work. But to use them effectively, you need to take them continuously, even if you don’t feel sick. Once you start feeling sick, it’s hard to control it. So if you have it under control, you’ll feel much better, and probably won’t feel as sick.

I didn’t find this out until half way through my chemo. You can thank me later. Sometimes, you may even need to change up the medication for anti-sickness, as some side effects can get rough. So always talk to your chemotherapy pharmacist if this starts to happen, they are there to help you, so never feel embarrassed.

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