Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Chemo Tips

I thought it would be helpful if I shared with everyone some of the remedies and tips I use when going through chemotherapy. Hopefully some of these things will be beneficial to another person undergoing treatment!

Having cancer and going through chemo is scary and can cause anxiety. I get anxiety a lot, especially the day before my chemotherapy appointment. I mentioned this to my Dr. and he prescribed me an anti-anxiety medication. I took it, and to be honest it just made it worse! So I asked my friends if they had any suggestions on what I could to take to relieve some of the stress. They told me about this: Rescue Remedy.
The link above will give you the ingredients in Rescue Remedy. This has helped me tremendously with anxiety! I recommend putting it in a small amount of water when taking it in this form.

Breathing techniques also help! You can start by breathing in slowly 5-10 seconds, then exhaling slowly 5-10 seconds. Repeat this numerous times and your heart rate will slow, and relief will start to set in!

When I am receiving chemo and the nurses are accessing my port, they flush it with saline. The saline is hard for me to handle. I can immediately taste it in my mouth and I don't have a great reaction to the taste. Some people don't mind this process, but for me it's one of the things I don't look forward to when receiving chemo. I discovered that sucking on a hard candy such as a Jolly Rancher, or chewing minty gum, helps mask the taste enough to get through the procedure. My nurse also suggested a sucker called Queasy Pops. They come in a lot of different flavors such as Ginger, Lemon, and Peppermint! They are excellent for relieving nausea also!

After treatment I don't feel the best. I feel extremely fatigued. I don't want to eat much and would prefer to 
just go to sleep. Something that helps me a lot with my energy levels, especially after chemo, is juicing and wheat grass! Wheat grass is high in vitamins and has numerous health benefits!
I usually consume 2-3 ounces every time I drink wheat grass. I was told that fifteen pounds of wheat grass is equal in overall nutritional value to 350 pounds of ordinary garden vegetables!!
Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables helps also! There are endless possible combinations that you can juice. One combo I like, and that seems to help with energy and nausea is: Carrots, Lemon, Cucumber, Apples, and the key ingredient, Ginger!
Ginger will become your best friend in your cancer experience! It certainly is mine!
To help with nausea you can consume ginger in different forms. You can juice it, gingered infused tea, or buy ginger chews which will relieve and help with nausea during treatment. Another possibility is to eat ginger snap cookies! My favorite ginger snap cookies are called SusanSnaps! They are delicious! There's an amazing story behind them also! The family that makes these cookies had been struck with lymphoma cancer  three times! 50% of the donations goes towards cancer research – genetic studies
50% of donations goes towards cancer patient gifts
For every $2.00, a gift of gingersnaps is given to cancer patients. 


One thing that I dread the most when receiving treatment, is the taste it leaves in your mouth after! It's a taste that I can't really describe, it's just awful! Things that I do to relieve some of the discomfort of this taste consist of, brushing my teeth numerous times a day, rinsing with baking soda water, or mouthwash. Also I use a tongue scraper routinely when brushing. It helps rid some of the nasty residue chemo leaves on your tongue! Rinsing with salt water can also help with minimizing the chances of getting mouth sores that chemo can sometimes cause. 
Basic tips to feel a little better throughout chemotherapy can also be:
  • Try going for a short walk. Sometimes getting up and moving, even if you feel like you can't will make you feel better!
  • Try and keep your surroundings clean and tidy. Having a clean house will brighten your mood! When using cleaning products try and use scents that put you at peace. I use a lavender infused all purpose cleaner because lavender calms the nerves and relaxes you!

  • Watch a funny movie! Laughter is the BEST medicine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feel free to comment and add to this list! What helps you during Chemotherapy?