Entering into the hospital may feel cold and uncertain, and highly impersonal, even when it should not. But when you find out you have been diagnosed with cancer, or a dear one has been cursed with this disease, it is natural to become overwhelmed, as you feel the anxiety of the profound change that is supposed to follow in your life. A diagnosis can be very exhausting, and that you have to keep fighting for the pursuit of your wellness and health.
Surviving cancer calls for a celebration and it can be well contended. Making it through cancer is an achievement, for it is an enormously great thing to excel at it, and overcome it with such tough conditions around every moment of the treatment, when you feel nauseated as to whether it would really work out or turn out to be even more fatal.
Going through the cancer treatment is not an easy feat, as it can be an absolutely intimidating process. You would need a lot of resources and support to make it through the brutality of chemotherapy. There are definitely personalized medicines, but then there comes the decision for you to make after you weigh the benefits against the risk of the treatment.
Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of the human civilization, one of the major causes of death the world over.
What Happens in Cancer?
Cancer is an illness involving abnormal growth of cells with the potential to invade other parts of the body, and spread to adjacent cells and tissues.
It may also be described as an uncontrolled growth of the tissues in your body without any process of differentiation due to the uncontrolled mitotic divisions of the cells. The cancer cells are characteristically different from the normal cells, as in the cancer cells loses all the general properties of the normal cells like – 1) cell differentiation, and 2) cell inhibition and the growth factors activate the genes to induce abnormal cell growth. The uncontrolled and unorganized growth of these cells forms a mass of undifferentiated cells that form the tumor (also called neoplasm) that may appear persistently in areas like on lip, tongue, breast etc.
The cells of the malignant tumors develop in the connective tissues and bone marrow, and are dispersed quickly to various parts of the body through the blood stream. The malignant tumors are carried by the blood and lymph by metastasis, and the person can develop the various forms of this class of diseases, like
- Melanoma, which is the most serious form of cancer.
- Basal cell cancer and several others.
The Diagnosis of Cancer
The cancer should be detected in the initial phases, and is very essential. At the later stages, the cancer tends to become incurable.
There are several ways to diagnose cancer, some of it being:
- The histopathological method, which involves biopsy, and historical examination.
- DNA probes, tumor markers, endoscopy etc.
- These are the pivotal moments when you constantly need a circle of support to help you empower yourself to go on and make it through the treatment.
Once your illness has been diagnosed, you have to choose from the types of treatment that would suit your needs:
- Local, which involves surgery and radiation, to remove the cancerous tissue from the body of the patient. Along with the defected tissue, the lymph nodes are also removed.
- Systemic, that is the therapy oriented cure and involves : chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and the targeted therapy
The chemotherapy uses numerous drugs to prevent the spread of the cancerous cells to all parts of the body. Getting through this mode of therapy particularly can be very challenging as this has numerous side effects. The patient might continuously get the feelings of nausea, and fatigue. He might also become sensitive to certain smells and may have recurrent mouth sores.
7 Tips to Help You Make It through the Cancer Treatment
Certain tips that have been handed down when we want to know about how to cope with the chemotherapy are:
Chemotherapy usually takes a generous amount of time. The treatment may ranger from just an hour to maybe about eight hours a day, and sometimes may even involve staying in the hospital overnight. Thus, when you dress for chemotherapy session, keep in mind that you are dressing for a long day ahead of you. You should wear clothes that help your body not feel any kind of weight or stifling, and something in which you can easily move about. It is important to keep in mind that the port should be accessible, and you should dress accordingly. The insides of a hospital may have temperature much lower than that outside, and it is advisable to bring soft and fuzzy socks along.
Also, you may want to bring in a blanket to cover yourself with and keep you warm, more certainly if you’re going to have to stay the night.
In case of a number of treatments occurring one after the other, it is very likely that you may receive a port that will help you in receiving your chemo transfusions, which eventually you would have to numb with some kind of cream like the ELMA cream. The port needs to be flushed, to help draw the blood, and also to begin with your treatment and this process renders your mouth to have an outrageous taste. You may need and should have a gargle of cold water, or some baking soda, and maybe even a pinch of salt in your mouth that will do away with the metallic taste and help to relieve the mouth sores. The chemotherapy wards have ice cubes mostly, may also have popsicles, for it is very important to suck on to something cold at that time.
While going through chemotherapy, you should choose the foods which fall in the category of your comfort food. You could live on either chocolate shakes, or on munchies, depending on your preference. You also need food because you never know how bored you would find yourself during the treatment that seems to never end. It is very likely that you will develop an aversion towards the food generically served in the hospital. So, it is totally up to you to customize your menu for the stay in the hospital, and you should try whatever your heart, and tummy desires. You also ought to drink a lot of nutra – shakes, which would contain an apple amount of vitamin.
Water is another major thing to concentrate on, as you will have to stay hydrated throughout. You may get headaches during the treatment, and this is a very common occurrence due to lack of hydration. Water will help to flush out the harmful toxins through, and out of your body.
You should sleep whenever you feel tired, or when you feel like you’re dragging through the day. There is no need for you to push through your rest and keep going when you are tired, and need rest. When exhausted, you should rest, or sleep and you should try walking short distances occasionally as that helps to keep your metabolism ongoing. The feeling of fatigue (which is a multidimensional symptom) and disturbed sleep keeps returning with chemo, which is severe and keeps interfering with the regular and moral pattern of your lifestyle.
The cancer patients and survivors very often claim to feel fatigued in terms of reduced physical performance, slowed down to a considerable extent, unusual feelings of tiredness and extreme weakness, and the unusual and recurrent need to rest.
During chemotherapy, your eyes tend to dry out, and sometimes they water profusely. And that’s why you should always keep some eye drops with you.
The process of chemotherapy may induce some changes and abnormalities in the digestive system of the patient resulting in diarrhea, constipation etc. The chemotherapy changes the constitution of bacteria present in your intestine and may lead to gastric pain (abdominal pain), which may be cramp-like. The medicines taken during the treatment can either slow down or speed up the digestion and this may lead to bloating, flatulence etc.
In case of constipation, and also in case of diarrhea, the over the counter remedies available should work well enough.
Chemotherapy can be very painful, and mostly because it is kind of a nerve pain. It can be severe, and takes tremendous courage to hold on to it, and make it through. The chemotherapy may result in peripheral neuropathy, or paresthesia, both of which are extremely uncomfortable.
There are always the Support Groups to look forward to, for they give you a lot of free and practical advises, and that is where you meet people with cancer, and that’s where you make friends, who go through the same treatment as you, and have lots of advises to share.
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