I just finished chemo yesterday ( metaplastic, triple negative, 2B. Adriamyocin, cytoxin and taxol over 20 weeks) and the anticipation was NOTHING like the reality of it all. So here are my chemo tips:
It will not be what you expect. It might be a lot better. I never got nauseous, never felt just awful, and never had most of the side effects. So don’t expect them. I had reasonable energy and good color and some side effects that were more interesting than a burden. Wierd taste, a fuzzy brain and odd sensations.
Chemo is not toxic to YOU. It is toxic to the fast growing cells in your body. You will get through it. Your body will work hard. Be good to it. Express gratitude to your body for coping every day.
Being hydrated matters. It is good for your liver. It is good for your kidneys and they are working hard. Drink a ton of water. If you can manage 150 oz. or more on the day before, the day of and the day after chemo, you will feel better. Mint, cucumber, lemon or rosemary in the water can make it taste better.
Hydrate your body from the outside too. Moisturize with a passion. Soak in an epsom salt tub. I learned to love coconut oil as a body oil. So healing.
Move every day. Walk, swim, bike, stroll, run – whatever feels good. A little goes a long way. When people asked what they could do for me, my answer was always an invitation to walk. Come and walk with me. Get me out. Do not do too much. But do something. I used to swim three miles a week. I swam 3/4 of a mile a week by the end of chemo. Slowly, happily – but I got out and moved my body.
Eat well whenever you can – especially stuff that is good for the liver. I let go of all alcohol, sugar, and processed foods. Not because of the cancer. To help out my liver. Beets, spinach, avocado, parsley, cilantro, all kinds of greens, beef, bone broth… All of that helped a lot. If you can’t eat, drink good stuff. Veggie juices and chicken broth. Soups of all kinds.
Avoid possible illness. No sushi – raw fish. No Hollandaise – raw eggs. No soft cheese like Brie or Camembert – mold. No sproutd – mold. No blue cheese – mold. No public pools and no Minnesota lakes all summer – bacteria. This was all to give my body a break. And I only got sick once.
Support your body in any way you can. I chose yoga, reiki and acupuncture. I also had a good massage therapist. These all made my body and spirit feel good.
Rest whenever you can. If you can let go of work and focus on healing, do so. Say no when an invitation doesn’t being you joy. Say yes when it does.
Make chemo time a positive time. I wore special earrings that belonged to my sister. I chose not to chat or use social media. I brought meditative coloring books and thought about healing images and healing colors. I had a big beautiful blue water bottle and drank well with pleasure. I had an emotional classical playlist to drown out all the chatter around me. I was in a warm (bring some cozy clothes, socks, sweats) and positive cocoon. My chemo partner was in quiet coloring meditation with me. We chatted before and after, but not once the infusion started.
Trust the process. It is there for healing. The premeds really help with the side effects. Choose to be grateful that this option is there for you. It can be a really good experience.I hope this helps. Anticipation sucks. Your reality will be unique to you. You are healthy and strong. Chemo is not an illness. And cancer is treatable.