When you are stuck with the big “C”, you may feel that your options are limited. However, with prompt treatment, chemotherapy has been shown to be quite effective at defeating cancer. The article describes everything you must know about chemotherapy, including some common misconceptions.
1. Chemotherapy Comes With a Lot of Side Effects
Of course, we all know about hair loss and nausea that go with chemotherapy. However, there are many different kinds of chemotherapy. Your side effects will correspond with the type of treatment that you receive and how it can affect your body.
While losing your hair and having trouble eating may be common, they are by no means all that you will have to deal with. Also common are fingernails becoming brittle, numbness in extremities and dizziness. Look out for all of these side effects.
2. You May Feel Depression When Chemotherapy is Over
Whether you go for private chemotherapy or different treatment, it is very common for people to feel blue or lost when their treatment is over. Finishing chemotherapy does not mean that your life will immediately go back to “normal”. Instead, there is a time when you will have to confront your physical and mental side effects without much of a support network.
Try not to fake a smile. Instead, tell people you are working on your mood and take it one day at a time.
3. You Will Not Be Able to Support Others Emotionally
The thing about chemotherapy is that it affects not only the person going through it. You may feel the need to reassure your family, but do not feel the need to push yourself—part of making sure that chemotherapy is effective in keeping your stress levels down. Keep family & friends in the loop, but do not be afraid to step back and practice some self-care when you need it.
4. Learn More From Nurses Than From Doctors
When going through this treatment, your oncologist is, of course, very important. However, the person with the answers that you want is likely to be a nurse. A nurse can tell you bout how long chemotherapy usually takes, and they will let you know that you are likely to be tired after treatment. Listen to nurses but also seek out first-hand accounts from those who have gone through cancer as well.
5. Do Not Listen to Other People’s Experience With Their Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy can be different for everyone. While you will want to know what you should expect, it is unfair to all involved to put credence into the “horror stories” that you hear. While a story with a happy ending is always welcome, do not feel bad about refusing to hear bout another person’s trials and tribulations with their treatment.
6. You Can Think About Other Things
Having cancer does not mean that that is all you can focus on. Instead, try to continue with your passions and your necessary tasks. When cancer comes to upset your world, keep to your daily routine. It is a large, scary process, but it does not have to run your world.
From breast cancer to leukemia, chemotherapy can be an effective treatment for a lot of illnesses. While it may seem like a huge part of your life, by understanding these small things, you can figure out a way to let it do its work without taking over your life entirely. Remember that it is completely understandable to step back and take a little time for yourself.