How to reduce chemo side effects or cope with them-- After Your Chemo
How to reduce chemo side effects or cope with them-- After Your Chemo

Sudden illness

  • Pack a bucket in the truck / car, in case you suddenly need to vomit during the drive home.
  • There may be very little warning.
  • The embarrassment following vomiting is a little less if the substance can be contained in the bucket rather than throughout the truck / car.
  • The bucket can also be emptied outside rather than remaining in the vehicle for the entire ride home.

Have a place set up for you to lie down during the drive home.

  • You may suddenly feel tired and need to lie down.
  • Have a couple of pillows and blanket in the car for you to use.
  • Have a small pillow if you have lymphedema (caused by having some lymph nodes removed during surgery).
  • You need to keep your arm elevated to prevent swelling.
  • Some of the NACR Native survivors make lymphedema pillows for other patients.
  • You may want to ask your traditional Indian healer, minister or priest to bless your pillow for some additional spiritual strength.

General Supportive Care throughout Chemotherapy

  • The side effects from chemo will lessen after your treatment is over. Most side effects are not permanent.
  • Some can be permanent.
    • These may be damage to your:
    • Heart
    • Lungs
    • Nerves
    • Kidneys
    • Other organs

  • If you have any of these types of problems, you need to make certain you have regular medical appointments to check on these organs and body systems (like a heart check-up every year).
  • If you are diabetic, these organs and body systems may also be damaged by your diabetes.
  • Your diabetic doctor needs to be told by you that you have received chemo.
  • You need to have your diabetes doctor and cancer (oncologist) doctor talk to one another about controlling permanent damage to these organs.
  • Remember that everyone reacts differently to chemo.
  • You may do fine with your first round of chemo and have a hard time during your second round of chemo.
  • If you are having side effects, you need to tell your providers. They typically can help you. They may change the drugs you are receiving or the dosage of the drugs to lessen the side effects. But they cannot do this unless you let the providers know what problems you are having.
  • Let family and friends help you and your family with meals, household chores and even things like writing monthly bills.

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