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Chemo survival guide: What you should know before receiving treatment

Preparing for chemotherapy can make a huge difference in how you respond to the treatment.

Undergoing chemotherapy, as many know, is a daunting experience. The treatments present unimaginable challenges for the patient. Knowing as much as possible about the treatment – and how to make it through – can be one of the keys to successfully recovering.

Chemotherapy is known to make patients feel nauseous, weak, and weary. Here are some tips to help counter these side effects:

  • Rest. Resting while undergoing chemotherapy is vital. Remember that your body is working overtime to fight cancer, and so it cannot spare primary resources to indulge in unnecessary matters. Save your strength for healing and give your body the rest it deserves.
  • Hydrate. If you find yourself prone to sickness during your treatments, specifically vomiting and diarrhea, it is crucial you hydrate often. Ensure you are consuming enough electrolytes to support your body. If you cannot keep liquids down, you may need to hydrate via and IV, so speak with your doctor.
  • Keep vitamin and mineral intakes high. Some people recommend buying a juicer when eating is not possible. Whatever it takes, make sure you load up on good vitamins, which help your body recover and minimize the side effects.
  • Stick to a schedule. When fighting cancer, it's essential you keep things as regulated as possible. Working to keep your circadian rhythm undisrupted by sleeping and waking at consistent hours will not only help you recover more quickly but might also stave off fatigue.
  • Positivity is key. Remember, you are not on this journey alone. Your family, friends, and care team are there to support you every step of the way. Trust in your treatment and in their support. Believe in yourself. You can do this.

When it comes to comfortability and your well-being, consider:

  • Wearing loose clothes
  • Avoiding technology
  • Pack a chemo tote bag (for comfortable treatments)
  • Visiting a wig shop, cutting your hair, or trying a cold-cap treatment
  • Attending a cancer support group
  • Keeping a journal

Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to our viewers' health and well-being, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we'll bring you information about the "Cause of the Month," including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.