The things that so far helped me during chemotherapy… mostly weren’t things. Some were recommended, some are things I did before, like yoga. I started chemotherapy in December, and am now in cycle #8, with more to come. So I thought, I put some of the things that helped so far together in blog posts, and also look for articles and links, both for myself, and for others who are going through chemotherapy.
One of the things that helped me most – that’s at least my guess – is staying active, and go out of the house every day for a walk, even on the low days. Here’s a note from my diary:
“Yesterday was still low. In the morning, I felt like having a hangover of the deep-level kind, but luckily still without headache. At noon I thought: I could try to go for a short walk. I tried that, and the sun came out for a bit, and through the walking, my energies started to return. It made me think of that Latin proverb: “Solvitur Ambulando” – “It’s solved by walking”.
One of the memories of the very first day of chemo is the walk I took with my sister, who visited me on that day to be there. It was winter, just some days before Christmas. Back then, I wondered how long I would be able to go for walks. When I told a friend about it, she mentioned an article on how activity is good for cancer patients.
Now I did a google search, here are some links with more details:
CNN Health: “Cancer? More exercise, not less, may be best”
“In the past, doctors often told cancer patients to take it easy during treatment… In fact, new guidelines on cancer and exercise from the American College of Sports Medicine urge cancer patients to be as physically active as possible both during and after their treatment. .. It boosts energy, helps stave off the weight gain often associated with treatment, and provides a psychological pick-me-up at a time when a person’s morale is likely to be battered.”
American Cancer Society: Ways regular exercise may help you during cancer treatment
“Newer research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, but it can improve how well you function physically and your quality of life. … Regular moderate exercise has been found to have health benefits for the person with cancer.”
This article also inlcudes an interesting note on fatigue: “Most people with cancer notice that they have a lot less energy. During chemotherapy and radiation, most patients have fatigue. Fatigue is when your body and brain feel tired. This tiredness does not get better with rest. For many, fatigue is severe and limits their activity. But inactivity leads to muscle wasting and loss of function. An aerobic training program can help break this cycle. In research studies, regular exercise has been linked to reduced fatigue. It’s also linked to being able to do normal daily activities without major problems.”
The Other “Things”, Blogging & Links:
I will continue this series with the other “things” that help me get through chemotherapy step by step, and look for articles and links, too. One thing that helped to get through the cycles of chemotherapy definitely is: blogging. Here is a longer blog post on how things are currently, the post also leads back to the start of my diagnosis: “Intense, or: anger, hope, spring & the larger picture”