During chemo, you're more tired than you've ever been. It's like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you're out. You don't know how you'll answer the door when your groceries are delivered. But you also find that you're stronger than you've ever been. You're clear. Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception. Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience. Now it's instantaneous.
While going through chemotherapy, side effects often occur. It is important to keep our immune system strong so we don't catch illnesses and viruses which can affect us and our treatment.
Treatment Options (An excellent article which discusses chemotherapy, radiation and other types of treatment for cancer.
Managing Side Effects (A very comprehensive article with many tips on how to overcome the side effects of some treatments.)
Managing Neuropathy Neuropathy is a common side effect that is often included as part of today's chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer. With it comes temperature intolerance, pains in the hands, fingers, feet and legs, tingling sensations, numbing sensations, loss of balance and other possible effects. If it becomes difficult for you, be sure and discuss it with your oncologist who can adjust the dosage of chemotherapy or find an alternative treatment.
Eating Hints Excellent ideas and types of foods that help alleviate nausea. The biggest bit of advice we found valuable in dealing with nausea was to take the anti-nausea medication prescribed by the physician about two hours before arising, with a piece of toast and a few sips of tea, water or juice. This prepares the stomach for the daily activity and then when getting up, go ahead and eat. Again, take the medication about thirty to sixty minutes before dinner and do so at the same time every day. Scheduling is everything and can help many in a dramatic way for many, if effective planning is conducted.
Chemobrain Chemical brain is one of the most frustrating side effects for active individuals. This article helps explain what it is and why it happens alleviating fear and concern of its existence.
In order to attempt to control it, many of us play word games to keep the mind vital and busy and do our busy work in the mornings when we need to be fresh in thought. We don't know if this works, but it certainly does provide some reassurance.
The loss of memory can be frightening. Remember, much of the effects of "chemo brain" disappear within the first year following completion of treatment and almost all go away. If a lapse of memory occurs or you experience difficulty with navigation, comprehending directions, etc., simply stop, take a deep breath and relax. What it is you are searching for in your mind will come in most cases...for those of us with chemo brain it just takes a little longer than usual for the memory to function.
Sometimes its easy to set ourselves up for frustration. This is one of those situations where it is ripe to occur. So, try to find ways to lessen the opportunity. In example, when undergoing chemotherapy sometimes its difficult to follow a movie. So, watch a television show. The sequences are shorter and the plots aren't as complicated. Sometimes reading is difficult. Try reading a few paragraphs at a time and then take a rest, returning to it when the mind refreshes itself.
Don't let chemobrain embarrass you or feel uncomfortable about interacting with others as a result of it. Most people understand chemobrain, especially after it is explained as a temporary side of effect of chemotherapy. During conversation if you lose the conversation halfway through, apologize and explain you have chemobrain. They'll understand and most often, will help you find the words you need if you give them a definition.
Try and stay away from situations involving stress or conflict. Chemobrain can occur during those times and that is another time which is ripe for frustration. The last thing any of us, who are fighting cancers need, is undue stress, frustration or negativity in our lives. We have choices and the best choice is to stay away from it. There isn't time for it in our lives.
Prophylactic Surgery to Deter Cancer Surgery to remove tumors and to remove organs which have been attacked by cancers is a common treatment. It is suggested prophylactic surgery be conducted for the removal of the uterus and the ovaries, following childbearing years due to the extremely high risk of cancer for those who have Lynch syndrome. The Mayo Clinic has come up with a new surgery, for colon resection, which at the same time, can also remove the female organs, without having to make a major external incision. This is fascinating new technology which accelerates the rate of recovery for individuals, called natural orifice surgery.