Sunday, March 3, 2024

Things To Do During Chemo

Bonds Of London Sugar Free Sherbert Lemons

What to Expect During Chemotherapy

For sugar-free hard candy

Hard candy, such as lemon drops or mints, may help remove the unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth from chemotherapy. However, it is important to note that sugar-free candy may cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea in some people.

These sugar-free lemon sherbet candies come individually wrapped and feature a sherbert center.

They are available for around $6.99 on Amazon.

NCI states chemotherapy treatment can cause the skin to become dry, itchy, or red. It may even cause the skin to darken in appearance or peel, while the nails may also become cracked and dark.

Fragrance-free skin care that is gentle and mild can help moisturize and soothe dry and irritated skin, and lip balms and hand creams can ease chapped or cracked lips and nails.

Things To Make Your Chemotherapy Experience More Comfortable

When you are going through cancer treatment, and more specifically chemotherapy, your health care team is there to make sure you are comfortable. You will have the luxury of your own private reclining chair along with medications to help manage side effects but bringing a favorite book, movie, blanket or friend can also provide comfort during your treatments. The number of chemotherapy sessions and duration of each treatment will vary from patient to patient and even visit to visit, but it is helpful if you bring some things to help pass the time and keep you comfortable while receiving treatment.

Many people dont know what they should bring when they first come to a chemotherapy treatment. Review our suggestions below and choose a few items to bring to your next chemotherapy session. Its a good idea to switch and bring different items, as well as some of your favorite items, at each treatment session. Youll soon figure out what helps you best pass the time.

What About Supplements Are There Any That Should Be Avoided During Chemo

In general, you should limit the use of most dietary supplements during chemotherapy to minimize the risk of the nutrients interacting with the chemotherapy medicine. If you are interested in taking supplements during chemotherapy treatment, talk to your oncologist BEFORE you take anything.

You also should avoid any supplement that contains highly concentrated forms of a food or beverage during breast cancer chemotherapy.

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Since Chemotherapy Knocks Down The Immune System Are There Any Foods You Would Tell People To Avoid During Chemotherapy People Are Told To Avoid Grapefruit And Grapefruit Juice When Theyre On Certain Medicines And Some People Have Been Told To Avoid Green Tea

This question raises two very important issues about which foods are safe to eat during chemotherapy and which ones need to be avoided.

The first issue people receiving chemotherapy have to consider is immune system function and food safety. This is critical for people with a compromised immune system. You may need to avoid certain foods to minimize the risk of food-borne illness.

When people receive chemotherapy, their doctors monitor a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil. Neutrophils are part of the immune system. When neutrophil levels are abnormally low, its called neutropenia.

If you have neutropenia, you have a higher risk of infection, so its very important to follow safe food handling and cooking practices to minimize infection risk.

If you have neutropenia, avoid the following foods:

Some types of produce, such as lettuce, raw green leafy vegetables, strawberries, and raspberries, are difficult to clean well. You may need to avoid these foods if you have neutropenia.

Ask your doctor, nurse or dietitian for guidance if you are unsure whether a particular food is safe for you.

The second issue people being treated with chemotherapy need to consider is how certain foods may interact with chemotherapy medicines.

Avoid any supplement that contains highly concentrated forms of a food or beverage during breast cancer chemotherapy. These higher amounts of food components have the potential to interact with chemotherapy.

Pray Meditate Or Visualize

Top Ten Items For A Chemotherapy Care Package

If you are feeling anxious during your infusion, you might want to take a mental and spiritual break by using prayer to center yourself on the task of recovery. If you don’t want to focus on yourself, you can this time to intercede for others in your life.

You could also try some mindfulness meditation to keep your mind from running off in negative directions, to lower your stress levels, and possibly to boost your immune system. And if you are a very image-oriented person, try healing visualization. Picture the drugs actively seeking out and taking down your cancer, cell by celland then your body rebuilding itself into better health.

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What I Pack For Chemo

When I was diagnosed with large cell neuroendocrine cervical cancer nearly four years ago, I felt utterly lost.

And I felt overwhelmed when my doctor said I needed chemotherapy. I didnt know what to expect or what to pack. So I decided to bring everything.

Since then, Ive had nearly 55 chemo treatments using several chemo drugs, 28 radiation sessions and four major surgeries . In the process, Ive become an expert on what to bring to chemo and what to leave at home.

Heres what I recommend packing to make chemo more comfortable. Ive included a couple of items that wont fit in a bag but are definite musts.

1. Comfortable clothes: Chemo can last anywhere from one to eight hours and may involve overnight hospital stays. So, it helps to wear comfortable clothes. Youll want to keep your port accessible, so consider wearing a V-neck shirt.

2. Socks and/or close-toed shoes: The hospital or clinic will be chilly. Wear comfortable, close-toed shoes and or slippers with a hard sole. If you insist on open-toed shoes, bring socks just in case. The softer and fuzzier, the better.

3. A warm blanket: Theres something about cuddling up with a nice blanket that brings instant comfort. If you forget your blanket, ask one of MD Andersons volunteers in blue jackets. Theyre likely to have a warm blanket for you.

6. Music: While some patients find the hum of the infusion machines relaxing, others find it aggravating. So dont leave home without your headphones and favorite playlists.

Q: What Side Effects Can Chemo Have

A: Chemo can cause many different side effects depending on the drug, the dose, other medical problems a person has, and how they react to it. Most side effects go away over time after treatments end, but some can last longer. The cancer care team can help you know what to expect and how to deal with them. The more common chemo side effects include:

Not every person gets every side effect. If the person youre caring for is having trouble, call the cancer care team. You can read about more cancer side effects on cancer.org.

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Q: Is It Safe To Be Around Someone Getting Chemo

A: It usually takes a few days for the body to get rid of the drugs after a round of chemo is given. During this time, wear disposable gloves when cleaning up any body fluids, including urine, stool, tears, and vomit, and then wash your hands with soap and water. If chemo is being taken by mouth, talk to the cancer care team about how to be careful when touching the pills.

Its best to wash bed sheets and clothes in the washing machine separately from other clothes. Throw away adult diapers and sanitary pads by placing them in 2 plastic bags and throw them away with the regular trash. If you touch body fluids by mistake, wash your hands well with soap and water and ask the cancer care team for advice.

What Happens After Iv Chemotherapy Ends

What to Expect at Your Infusion:Chemotherapy Visit

After your treatment session ends, the nurse or another health care team member will take out your IV. If you have a port, it will stay in until you finish all of your treatments. The nurse will check your blood pressure, pulse, breathing, and temperature again.

Your oncologist or nurse will talk with you about what to expect with side effects. They will give you medication, tell you how to manage common side effects, and offer information such as:

  • Avoid people with colds or other infections. Chemotherapy weakens your body’s immune system. Your immune system helps fight infections.

  • Drink lots of fluids for 48 hours after chemotherapy. This helps move the drugs through your body.

  • Whether there are activities to do or avoid doing on future treatment days.

Before you leave your first treatment, be sure to ask who you should call with any questions or concerns and how to contact them, including after hours or weekends.

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Keep Exercise Easy And Fun

How much you should exercise is different for each person. We dont know the best level of exercise for someone with cancer. The goal is to have your exercise program help you keep up your muscle strength and keep you able to do the things you want and need to do. The more active you are, the better youll be able to exercise and function. But even if planned exercise stops, its good to keep being active by doing your normal activities as much as you can. The key to staying active is to keep your exercise program simple and fun. Exercise and relaxation techniques are great ways to relieve stress. Reducing stress is an important part of getting well and staying well.

Interacting With People Who Have Infections

Some chemotherapy treatments can increase the risk of infection.

There will be points during chemotherapy treatment cycles where a persons number of white blood cells is lower than usual. These cells are responsible for fighting infections.

During these times, it is important that a person minimizes their risk of infection. This includes avoiding contact with people that may have active infections.

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What Happens Before Chemotherapy

Each chemotherapy treatment plan is created to meet a patient’s unique needs. But before treatment starts, you can expect to take these general steps.

Meet with your oncologist. The doctor will look over your medical records and do a physical exam. You will also have tests done to help plan treatment. Your exact treatment depends on the type, size, and location of the cancer. Your doctor will also consider your age, your general health, and other factors, such as previous cancer treatments.

Learn about your chemotherapy treatment schedule. Your health care team will explain when and how often you need chemotherapy. Most chemotherapy treatments are given in repeating cycles. The length of a cycle depends on the drug you receive. Most cycles range from 2 to 6 weeks. The number of treatment doses scheduled within each cycle also depends on the prescribed chemotherapy.

For example, each cycle may contain only 1 dose on the first day. Or, a cycle may contain more than 1 dose given each week or each day. Often, your doctor will check if the treatment is working after you finish 2 cycles. Most people have several cycles of chemotherapy. Sometimes, chemotherapy treatment is ongoing as a maintenance therapy.

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Ways To Help Someone During Cancer Treatment

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When someone you know receives a cancer diagnosis, you want to help. But how?

Instead of asking what you can do to help, its usually better to find a concrete way to support your friend or loved one, and do it. Some people may not feel comfortable asking for help, or the list of things they need help with may seem too long and overwhelming.

But what can you do that will actually be helpful? We asked our Facebook community to share helpful things friends and family members have done to support them. Here are their suggestions.

  • Take care of the grocery shopping, or order groceries online and have them delivered.
  • Help keep their household running. Cook, clean, mow the lawn, wash the laundry and/or dishes, make sure the bills get paid, get the kids dressed for school, walk the dog and do all of the things that the person in cancer treatment would normally do to keep life going for the rest of the family.
  • Bring a cup of tea or coffee and stop by for a visit. Just keep in mind that cancer patients often struggle with fatigue, so dont stay too long unless they ask you to stay longer.
  • Give the primary caregiver a break. Go to doctors appointments in the caregivers place, help out with the kids or pets, organize medications, or send the patients spouse, parent or child off for massage or a night or weekend to unwind. This can ease the caregivers stress, and give him or her the energy to keep going.
  • Knit a cap or scarf.
  • Send fun or silly treats in the mail.
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    Stock Them Up On Chemo

    Chemo can wreak havoc on everything from skin to appetite. Put together a gift basket of products that are known to help out. For example, combat dry skin with a selection of unscented, natural lotions, suggests Tara Coyote, a best-selling author who battled cancer for four years. She suggests unscented lotions because chemo patients often develop a very sensitive sense of smell. She also recommends including a variety of bland crackers. “It is common to feel nauseous and having crackers around is handy when your tummy is upset. On this same note, peppermint tea also eases an upset stomach,” she says via email.

    Personal trainer and breast cancer survivor Melissa Rasbach of Kennesaw, Georgia, notes that coconut water really saved the day when she was in chemo. “Plain water did not taste good to me at all, but coconut water did,” she recalls. “Plus, the added benefit of coconut water was a bonus.” So be sure to toss a couple of bottles of coconut water in the basket, too. You never know what’s going to click for someone!

    If you’re not local to the patient in question, try sending a chemo care basket from Rock the Treatment, available for men, women and children.

    Physical Activity And The Person With Cancer

    Research shows that for most people exercise is safe and helpful before, during, and after cancer treatment. It can help improve your quality of life as well as the energy you have to do the things you like. Physical activity may also help you cope with side effects of treatment and possibly decrease your risk of new cancers in the future.

    Too much time spent resting or sitting can cause loss of body function, muscle weakness, and reduced range of motion. Many cancer care teams are urging their patients to be as physically active as possible before, during and after cancer treatment.

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    Q: How Does Chemo Treat Cancer

    A: Chemo kills cells that grow fast, such as cancer cells. It may be used to keep cancer from spreading, make it grow slower, kill cancer cells that may have spread to other places in the body, shrink tumors to make side effects better, or cure cancer.

    Chemo can also affect normal cells that grow fast, including the ones that make blood, skin, and hair. Unlike the cancer cells, most normal cells are able to fix themselves and recover after chemo treatment ends.

    How Regular Exercise May Help You Before During And After Cancer Treatment

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    • Help your body and brain work better
    • Reduce feeling tired
    • Help lessen depression and anxiety
    • Might help you sleep better
    • Keep or improve your physical ability to get things done
    • Improve your muscle strength, bone health and range of motion
    • Strengthen your immune system
    • Help you get to and maintain a healthy weight
    • May help with breast cancer-related lymphedema
    • Improve your quality of life
    • Reduce treatment side effects

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    About Upmc Hillman Cancer Center

    When you are facing cancer, you need the best care possible. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides world-class cancer care, from diagnosis to treatment, to help you in your cancer battle. We are the only comprehensive cancer center in our region, as designated by the National Cancer Institute. We have more than 70 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, with more than 200 oncologists making it easier for you to find world-class care close to home. Our internationally renowned research team is striving to find new advances in prevention, detection, and treatment. Most of all, we are here for you. Our patient-first approach aims to provide you and your loved ones the care and support you need. To find a provider near you, visit our website.

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    Skin Care And Bathing

    Following the tips below will help protect your skin from damage and infection:

    • Bathe every day and use warm water.
    • Avoid soaking in spas or hot tubs.
    • Use a mild soap for bathing.
    • Use a soft towel to gently wash skin.
    • Be sure to clean feet, groin, underarms, and other sweaty areas well.
    • Do not rub skin with the towel, instead pat it dry.
    • Do not share bath towel with other family members.
    • Use unscented lotion or moisturizing cream on skin after it has dried completely.

    Protecting Skin From Cuts, Scrapes, Injury and Infection

    While you are going through chemotherapy, your body will not be able to fight germs off as well as it normally would. At every step of your treatment, it is important to protect yourself from getting an infection. One of the ways you can do this is by protecting your skin from cuts and scrapes because these are easy ways for germs to enter your body.

    If you follow a few simple steps you can protect yourself from injury and infection:

    • Use an electric razor instead of a blade when shaving to prevent nicks.
    • Be careful when handling sharp items.
    • Wear gloves when gardening to protect your hands from cuts and scrapes.
    • Use caution when exercising to avoid grazing or scraping your skin.
    • Use caution when walking on wet or slippery surfaces to avoid falling and scraping your skin.
    • Do not cut, tear, or bite cuticles.
    • Avoid manicures and pedicures.
    • Do not squeeze or scratch pimples.
    • Wear clothing that is appropriate for the type of activity you plan to do .

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