How to Feel Better After Chemotherapy


Chemotherapy uses very powerful drugs to attack cancerous cells. The side effects of chemotherapy can interfere with your quality of life. However, you can do several things to improve well-being while undergoing your treatments. Your doctor is a great source of information.

  • Talk to your doctor about any medications for side effects of treatment. Certain symptoms can be addressed with medications. For example, medicines can prevent nausea and treat nerve damage, diarrhea and mouth sores. Take all medications as directed. Being open and honest with your doctor about how chemotherapy is affecting you can help him recommend ways to deal with these problems.

  • Consider acupuncture. The American Cancer Society indicates it can alleviate many side effects of chemotherapy, most notably nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Work with a licensed practitioner. You will probably need multiple sessions for full benefit.

  • Allow adequate time for rest, and consider conserving energy for the things most important to you. Fatigue is a common complaint of chemotherapy, and you need to allow time for your body to recover. Arrange your daily schedule in a way that permits sufficient rest.

  • Engage in a level of exercise appropriate for your condition. Exercise can alleviate fatigue, improve mood and release chemicals that naturally combat pain. Your doctor can help you design an appropriate regimen.

  • Experiment with different relaxation techniques that can reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation, deep breathing, biofeedback and positive visualization are a few of the more popular ones. These all require a good deal of concentration as well, which can help take your mind off of unpleasant symptoms such as nausea.

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and healthy protein sources. This will improve energy and overall well-being. Adequate calorie intake is important. Seek out a nutritionist who has experience with cancer patients; she can help you devise a healthy eating plan that will meet all of your needs.

  • Do not be afraid to ask for help. Knowing you can count on other people to assist you can relieve a lot of stress and help you worry a little less about chemotherapy interfering with your life.

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