Beginning treatment is a daunting and anxious time. It can take several days or weeks until you meet with a specialist to learn more about your diagnosis and this time can be filled with anxiety and fear. To help you cope during this time you should plan and learn the following:
- How to prepare for treatment.
- What to expect during treatment.
- Learning how to cope and control anxiety and depression.
- How will you take care of yourself?
- Practice healthy habits.
Know exactly what your treatment involves
You may feel like you have no control but through some simple steps you can feel stronger and more prepared. One of the single most important things you can do is to make sure you and your cancer care team are on the same page about exactly what your treatment involves. Not knowing can worsen stress, so it's important to know how treatment will work, what options you have and what help you can get.
Discuss the following points
- What will happen during treatment?
- How long will the treatment take?
- What are the potential side effects?
- What is the ultimate goal of your treatment?
Practice Healthy Habits
Waiting for treatment to start is a very anxious time. How you feel going into treatment can affect how you feel while it’s underway. This can affect the length of your recovery and even worsen side effects. To help you feel your best before treatment starts you should take note of your mental and physical health.
Consider changing a few things in your daily life
|Eat Healthy||Treatment can kill healthy cells, so it's important to go into treatment with a strong and healthy body to help you be able to cope better with the side effects.|
|Exercise||Treatment will reduce how much you can exercise. Being fit and healthy will help you be able to regain your strength quicker after you finish treatment.|
|Mental Health||Learn different de-stress techniques like meditation or yoga. Or you may want to try talking to a therapist.|
Undoubtedly, not all frustration and anxiety before and during treatment is actually about cancer, but about the practical concerns. It can become hard to come to terms that you might not be able to do everything, but always remember it is okay to ask for help!
To make life easier and a lot more comfortable, think about how you will take care of yourself at home. What are the things you might need help with? By doing this, you will be able to plan around your day to day life to make things easier.
|Washing & Dressing||
|Ask for Help||
|Speak to Someone||
If you need to ease uncertainty, anxiety, or fear, connect with other people who have cancer. This can be through a charity, fb groups or any other social media.
Things to prepare before treatment starts
Before treatment starts there are some things you need to know. For instance, if you are having chemo the first 48 hours after treatment, small amounts of chemotherapy drugs will leave your body through urine, vomit and other body fluids.
It is important to keep these chemicals away from yourself and others in your home. Ask your doctor if you have any questions or check out our 'Chemotherapy Safety at Home' blog post for more info.
Consider these things below
See a Dentist
Expect Changes in Your Appearance
|Create Recovery Space||
Think about where you might need to recover, like your living room or bedroom.