Easing Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Fatigue

Fatigue is the top complaint related to Chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy can decrease red blood cell counts, causing anemia, which in turn causes fatigue.  No matter what the cause, you don’t have to let fatigue get the best of you. To cope, try attending to the highest priorities in your life first. Don’t waste energy on unimportant things — and be sure to accept help from family, friends, and neighbors.  Mild exercise can help with fatigue, but patients often confuse the type of exercise they need with the aerobic exercise programs often recommended for people who have had a heart attack. The optimal amount of exercise for people undergoing cancer therapy might really be something as simple as just stretching the muscles

Nausea

Nausea is second among the dreaded side effects for Chemotherapy.

Ginger. The spicy bite of ginger may also help manage nausea and vomiting, reports the National Cancer Institute. To test this theory, researchers at the University of Michigan are currently seeking people undergoing chemotherapy to take part in a ginger clinical trial.

Guided imagery. This meditative practice involves imagining a pleasant, relaxing place in your imagination — your favorite vacation spot for example. By focusing on what you usually feel, see, hear, and taste in this place, you can block negative physical sensations.

Eat through it. Nausea not only makes you feel bad, but it can also ruin your appetite. Yet good nutrition is crucial for people fighting cancer. When you can’t manage big meals, nibble throughout the day on healthy snacks, or sip on juice and soup. On days when you have a good appetite, by all means, eat!

Hair Loss

Hair loss is the third side effect.  More Information here…

Foot and Hand Pain

One of the lesser known side effects is Chemotherapy-associated neuropathy.  This can start any time after treatment begins, and it may worsen as treatment continues. Usually it begins in the toes, but it can expand to include the legs, arms, and hands. Chemotherapy drugs specifically target fast growing cancer cells, but they can also damage other fast-growing cells in the body, including skin cells and the small blood vessels found in the palms of the hands and on the feet.  Common symptoms include:

  • pain, tingling, burning, weakness, tickling, or numbness in arms, hands, legs, and feet
  • sudden, sharp, stabbing, or shocking pain sensations
  • loss of touch sensation
  • clumsiness
  • trouble using hands to pick up objects or fasten clothing

If you suspect you have neuropathy, please let us know. We might be able to switch your medication to ease your nerve problems. We also may prescribe medicines, pain patches, or topical creams that can help. If neuropathy isn’t treated, it can become a long-term problem.

You can also take certain measures to minimize your discomfort, including keeping away from very hot water, taking cool showers and baths, using ice packs or cool compresses, and avoiding all sources of heat or friction. Products that contain harsh chemicals should be avoided, and the use of loose-fitting shoes is recommended.

Many cancer patients have found relief by wearing comfort socks. These are soft, comfortable socks that either provide some kind of therapy or are simply soothing by virtue of their texture. More Information Here…

Be a Germaphobe

Eat your fruits and vegetables is generally good advice, but patients undergoing cancer therapy also need to heed the following warning: Wash them thoroughly, to prevent infection.

To help prevent infection while patients are immunosuppressed, he said, “we tell them to avoid people sneezing in their face, not to get into crowded elevators, and, if using public transportation, not to go in during crowded times. But probably the best thing people can do to stay infection free is to wash their hands!”

And wash those vegetables. When surfaces cannot be cleaned adequately, vegetables may be sources of bacteria, he said, “introduced into the system at a time when it really is hard for the body to fight off the infection.” Vegetables should be blanched in boiling water. Some patients even microwave their apples and put them back in the refrigerator, he said.

Best Comfort Socks for Cancer Patients

EmilyStores Moisturize Full Gel Socks
These gel socks have non-slip bottom to provide safety while walking and are made with a silicon gel that are particularly soothing for sore feet. Their natural moisturizing effect heals cracks and blisters, and by smoothing on lotion before putting the socks on the impact can be optimized.

Dr. Comfort Socks for Men or Women
These socks were created with foot health in mind, and have proved helpful for patients suffering from all types of foot problems. They are made with nano bamboo charcoal fibers that promote blood circulation.

Kissables Women’s Chenille Socks
These microfiber socks provide the ultimate in softness and comfort as well as the safety of a non-skid bottom. Available in attractive colors and a striped pattern.

Haslra Microfiber Soft, Fuzzy Socks for Women
Warm, soft and comfortable, these microfiber socks come in a wide array of cheerful patterns and colors.

Gilbin Fuzzy Anti-Slip Socks for Men
These soft, comfortable socks are available in mens’ and womens’ sizes and a wide array of colors.