• KarenG_WN's Avatar

    What "everyday" tips can you share? Little suggestions that can make life easier when fighting cancer?

    Asked by KarenG_WN on Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    What "everyday" tips can you share? Little suggestions that can make life easier when fighting cancer?

    Here's a place for that answer to a question that has not come up yet but might be helpful to someone who didn't even know they could get a solution or are timid about posting a question. Like for example: For body aches or feeling cold try an old fashioned hot water bottle in place of a heating pad. You don't have to worry about cords, burning, etc. What "accidental discoveries" did you find that could help you with a certain difficulty or even annoyance? Thanks!

    19 Answers from the Community

    19 answers
    • Carol55's Avatar

      Now that it is winter, a zip up hooded sweatshirt/sweater is perfect for going to chemo. Easy porta-cath access and can put hood up or down for temperature regulation. Great gift idea!

      almost 5 years ago
    • anna's Avatar

      humor humor humor Laugh out loud

      almost 5 years ago
    • BrandenC's Avatar

      Ask for help changing dressing if you can't reach it easily, if you are as hard headed as me and think that you can do everything by yourself you wil end up ruining a set of sheets. Personal example, had a resection of a tumor from my upper thigh and Im young so I went back to my apartment as quick as possible (the day after I got out of the hospital). Ended up getting blood/iodine surgical site cleaner all over. Second story, if you have a drain, when it's removed make sure you have enough gause over the opening. Ruined 2 pairs of pants from it bleeding through the bandage and of course I was in a very public area when it happened.

      almost 5 years ago
    • markmather's Avatar

      I took advantage of eating directly after chemo when the benedryl and zofran were keeping the side effects at bay. I listened to alot of peaceful music during my marathon 6 hour treatment sessions. Slow and steady wins the race.

      almost 5 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      My oncologist encourages my "obsession" - I want to know everything I can about breast cancer, about treatment, about living healthy, about preventing recurrence. So I read online, at cancer sites, at medical sites, at sites like this. I am reading a great book right now - Anti Cancer by Dr. Servan Schreiber. I believe, as does my oncologist, that knowledge is power and there are things you can do to improve your life during treatment, to increase your opportunities for cancer free life, to return to good health. So get out there and learn all you can. It's a little scary at first because you may identify too closely with everything you read, but after a while, it becomes more intellectual and you can accept and learn from all the knowledge, science and expertise out there.
      Also, along with reading about it, I write about it as well. Keeping a daily journal of your feelings, good and bad, helps a lot. It's a great way to unload honestly and completely. Even a few minutes each day helps.
      We can't choose what happens to us but we can absolutely choose how we react to what happens to us. It pays to keep a positive attitude and to enjoy every moment of life along the way.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Cath1953's Avatar

      Keep ubeat, have alot ofsupot, talk about it ,goto to yor support meetings though your cancer center, it helped me a lot

      almost 5 years ago
    • Liyhann's Avatar

      For those women who have hair loss and are using wigs, you know that the little nylon scalp covers don't make things too comfortable. In case no one has added this tip, I thought I would - use a small/children's size knit cap under your long haired wigs and it is SOOOOooooOOOO much more comfortable and warm! Plus no more itchiness.

      almost 5 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      If you have cold sensitivity (most common with Oxaliplatin) use plastic flatware instead of metal (or use wooden chopsticks.)

      Also, if your chemo causes mouthsores, keep a jar of salt/baking soda (equal parts) next to your sink. Every time you go into the bathroom, dump a spoonful into a cup of water and rinse your mouth. I still keep that handy, for sore throats or other mouth sores, even tho I've been done with chemo for 3 1/2 years.

      almost 5 years ago
    • akristine's Avatar

      Humor works for me. If I didn't laugh at myself and all the issues I have to deal with, I would be depressed and overwhelm my therapist. Then we would both be babbling to a psychiatrist!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Heidi's Avatar

      If your on chemo and EVERY thing taste like metal try using plastic silver ware or pour your soda into a glass to drink it. This is what I had to do. Have chemo induced artistes? Try sitting in a warm bath that seems to help for mine so that I can take fewer pain pills.

      almost 5 years ago
    • trustingGod's Avatar

      Laughing to the point people think I'm crazy!! Having a dear friend to walk with you and for me just having faith that God is in control and stay hopeful!! I also try to educate myself about my cancer, sometimes its hard but having some knowledge helps to understand what the professionals are talking about and creates questions in your own mind and laugh!!!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Jackie's Avatar

      Take care of yourself. It's ok to say no when people ask if it's ok to come over to visit. It's ok not to do everyday chores. It's ok to be easy on yourself and allow yourself to heal.

      almost 5 years ago
    • KarenG_WN's Avatar

      Thanks everyone for these insightful and helpful recommendations! You shared such terrific information, I wrote a blog about it. Here's the link - be sure to share it with others who might be able to benefit...or just want to see your screen name "in lights!"

      Thanks again for providing these ideas that will I'm sure others will be able to use to make their lives a little easier.


      almost 5 years ago
    • babylady317's Avatar

      Kris Carr book Crazy, Sexy Cancer is a lighthearted treasure trove of info. AntiCancer A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber is another great book. It is also available on Audiobook which I reserved from library and listened to on daily drive to radiation treatments. CaringBridge is a wonderful site where you can journal your experiences and it helps cut down on phone calls. You can add photos and your guests can post also. TakeThemA Meal.com features a calendar for friends and family to bring meals, that was SO helpful, my husband has never eaten so well !Several relatives paid for a service to come and clean our house this was such a TREAT! Also I kept a journal. I bought a nice soft Pink leather one so I would enjoy writing in it. Someone sent me Martina McBride Cd with song I'm Gonna Love You through IT. Great song for cancer patients, tear jerker though.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Staci1219's Avatar

      Keep the faith, don't ever give up...When you start feeling discouraged look me up on here or hit the exchange the email link and send me an email. Thats what I am on here for is to help, I will help each and everyone of you fight this journey together. As an advocate for ACS I will do what I can and be there. I say a prayer each and every day for all cancer patients and survivors and their families to help make it easier for them. Just remember don't ever give up and you can do this.

      almost 5 years ago
    • SMT4's Avatar

      Wear cute hats when you are feeling down. Go out and get some funny beanies or caps to bring a smile to your's and others faces when you go to treatment.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Karen4's Avatar

      POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE!!! Wake up and get into warrior mode every single day and decide 'it ain't nothing but a thang". Indugle yourself in the things that bring you happiness, whether that's music, movies, friends, art...anything. Especially on 'down days', completely surround yourself by the things that give you comfort. Keep it light-when your hair falls out, it's ok to cry, but then turn around and put on a blinged-out beanie or a wig that's not your natural color and see which of your friends notice. Get as many hugs as you can. Talk to other survivors-it can sometimes make you appreciate your own journey. Don't hesitate to ask for help on the days when you feel weak, sick or sad. Sometimes, it makes those who love you feel useful if there is something you allow them to do to help you. Above all, reach out to a higher power (in my case, God). Without faith, none of it matters. Faith gives us hope where there is none, and believe me, it works. Laugh as often as possible-laughter is, after all, the best medicine. :)

      over 4 years ago
    • pinkheart7's Avatar

      Keep that beautiful smile! Read if you can Redeeming love it helped me in many ways. God Bless You

      over 4 years ago
    • Skin2glow's Avatar

      If you are having issues with your skin, find an esthetician who is certified in Oncology Esthetics and get a facial. They are trained to know how to handle a port or pic line, lymph nodes, etc., as well as the type of products needed for sensitive, challenged skin. This is also a way to have a gentle soothing touch that is non-medical. Using the right type of products that will hydrate and moisturize depleted skin without causing more sensitivity or reactions really is key. One place to look for an clinical oncology esthetician is through Touch for Cancer.com. I'm not associated with them, although I did get certified with them, and wanted to pass this info on to those who might be helped.

      about 4 years ago

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