Coping with cancer like mesothelioma is not something you can plan for. That’s why health magazine Spry Living reached out to oncology nurses to tap their insider secrets for navigating cancer treatment. We obtained special permission to share their tips for coping with cancer with you at Mesothelioma Circle.
Coping With Cancer
Sweeten the deal. If chemo makes your food taste flat and metallic, sprinkle a little sugar substitute on it, says a cancer nurse at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania. Plastic utensils also cut down on the metallic taste.
Reduce waiting room time. Have a late morning or afternoon appointment? Call to make sure the doctor is on schedule, suggests an oncology nurse at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica.
Keep fresh drinking water everywhere. It’s important to stay hydrated after chemo. If you view drinking water as a chore, put glasses of water throughout your house to drink as you see them, says a nurse at Houston Methodist Cancer Center.
Start each day with a 10- to 15-minute walk. The endorphins from even a little exercise and the oxygen reaching your organs will make you feel better, says an oncology nurse at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Make a wish list. When friends offer to help, it can be hard to think on the spot about what you need. Keep a list of ideas (walk the dog, water the garden, pick up the dry cleaning) handy so you’re ready, says the director of Cancer Care Services at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Knock Out Nausea
Ease off acid. Acidic food and drinks like tomatoes and orange juice can upset your stomach and cause heartburn.
Hide stomach-turning odors by placing a few drops of peppermint oil and waving it in front of your nose, says an RN at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia.
Eat small portions of foods high in protein which binds to bile and helps settle your stomach. Try hard-boiled eggs.
Sip sparkling water. Take sips between bites if you’re having trouble making it through a meal.
Skip fatty foods, especially on days you have chemo. Fat produces more bile and too much bile causes nausea when you’re coping with cancer, says a nurse at Darby Fitzgerald Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.