Treating an ailment like cancer can be a challenging experience for you and your loved ones. However, you can manage it by never losing hope, being an optimist, and creating a care plan for yourself. Fighting this disease can exhaust you physically and emotionally. But a well-designed care plan will keep your hopes up and help you maintain your well-being. After all, 5.4% of Americans have survived cancer. Therefore, it’s possible to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle while dealing with this disease.
You can make your treatment more effective by taking these actions:
- Learn the basics
Become more familiar with your condition to manage it easily; what type of cancer is it, where is it, how fast is it spreading, and what are your options now. Ask your oncologist about the treatment plan and the chances of recovery. Learn the side effects of your treatment. Ask your doctor what foods you should or shouldn’t eat and other relevant health tips.
- Take legal action
It’s estimated that over 25 million Americans drink contaminated water. Polluted water sources may contain carcinogens, such as VOCs. There have been some instances of families drinking polluted water without their knowledge. For instance, in the Camp Lejeune water contamination case, half a million people were exposed to toxicants in their water supply from 1957 to 1987. Because of this, Camp Lejeune cancer victims can claim compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 to manage treatment and improve the remaining quality of their life.
Similarly, asbestos exposure at the workplace can also cause mesothelioma. If your cancer is caused by negligent behavior on someone else’s part, hire a lawyer to take legal action against the people responsible for that.
- Create a support system
Having a support system will help you get by emotionally and manage routine tasks as your disease progresses and takes a toll on your health. Add your friends and family to this support system; these people will have your back whenever you need help, such as driving you to the hospital or visiting the doctor. A strong support system makes treatment more effective. When surrounded by trusting, beloved friends, you can retain your confidence and avoid stress or anxiety.
Remember that your well-being relies on the emotional support you get from people. Friends don’t just offer a shoulder to cry on but distract you from the horrors of terminal illness too.
- Eat healthy food
Treatment like chemotherapy and strong meds can take a toll on your health, and your body needs enough energy and nutrients to fight this illness and survive. That’s why you must switch to healthier eating habits. Give up fast food and reduce your salt intake. Instead, add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and other healthy food options to your diet to receive the correct amount of nutrients and energy your body needs to sustain treatment and fight the disease. Ask your doctor to recommend a diet plan.
- Expect to lose your hair
Losing hair is something normally associated with this disease. 65% of patients undergoing chemo lose their hair. While chemotherapy targets cancer cells, some healthy cells also become “collateral damage” to this treatment. Hence patients begin losing hair.
However, hair loss shouldn’t make you lose confidence. You can shave your head, cut it short, or wear a wig, hat or turban to hide your baldness. Or, just show it as a sign of your resilience.
- Get a lot of rest
Intense treatment like chemo has many side effects besides hair loss, such as vomiting, constipation, and a weakened immune system. This makes you feel tired more often, and that’s why you need to rest more often. It’s a good idea to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily. Give your body as much bed rest as it needs by taking naps during the day, and don’t overexert yourself.
Staying active during an illness can help you overcome tiredness and manage the side effects of your treatment. You can do some light exercise to stay active, such as walking or jogging. However, consult your doctor before doing so.
- Drink plenty of water
Water helps flush out toxins from your body and makes you feel healthier. Avoid sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages, though. Besides H2O, you can drink fat-free broth, fruit punch, grape juice, green tea, and other drinks with good calorific value and antioxidant content. These drinks will make the side effects of treatment easily bearable. You’ll be able to withstand nausea and constipation. So, talk to your doctor to determine how much fluid you should consume daily.
- Meet other survivors
It may often be difficult for people around you to understand your feelings. However, other people who’ve been through or are dealing with similar conditions as yours can better understand your emotions and help boost your morale. So, talk to survivors, ask them about their experiences, and learn how to manage your routine. You can gain many relevant insights just by talking to another cancer survivor.
Search for support groups located nearby, or find some survivors online to connect with them. You can also chat with other people walking in for treatment on the same days as you.
- Fight the stigmas
Some people still believe this disease is contagious and can easily spread from person to person, but this isn’t true. So maybe it’s time you educate yourself and fight the stigma associated with cancer. Dispel any doubts other people might have about this illness and provide accurate information regarding your ailment. Counter misinformation with information so people won’t be hesitant about visiting you. Fighting such stigmas will protect you from the isolation and discrimination often faced by terminally ill patients.
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness doesn’t have to feel like being stranded on a rapidly sinking ship. While the end is inevitable, you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle while undergoing treatment. Follow the guidelines mentioned in this article, such as creating a support group, fighting stigma, eating and drinking healthy, and getting enough rest. Take action to get compensated if you were exposed to carcinogens because of unscrupulous corporations or employers; that is your legal right. That’s how you can manage the financial aspects of your cancer treatment.