WHAT TO EXPECT

The people around you will amaze you

When someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, there is no limit to your empathy. Allow those around you to help in any way they can. When your friends, neighbors, co-works, or family members make themselves available, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and ask for what you need. The love and support you will receive will astound you.  It will also give those who truly want to help the opportunity to feel that they are able to do “something.”

 

Your appetite may be affected

Your form of treatment may temporarily change your sense of taste. Food may lack flavor completely, taste too sweet, too salty, or even metallic. Thankfully, these changes are temporary and will improve with time. While undergoing treatment, do what you can to get a healthy caloric intake and meet your body’s protein, vitamin, and mineral needs. CSNF has two dietitians on staff to help ensure that your changing appetite doesn’t get in the way of getting the nutrients your body needs to fight.

 

You might experience “Chemo Brain”

The term “chemo brain” seems much more intimidating than it actually is. If your treatment involves chemotherapy, you may experience foggy memory. While this may be a little frustrating, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone as this is a very common symptom.  Just know that this does not mean that there is something wrong with you.  We recommend bringing a family member or friend, or simply a journal, to help you remember medications and terms your doctor may be describing.  It is also important that you give yourself a little extra time when making important decisions.

 

You may experience side effects of chemo and radiation

While there are many common side effects of chemo and radiation, there are even more ways to ensure those side effects don’t bring down your spirit. If you have questions about side effects, don’t forget to call us first!  Also, remember that this is a challenging time and that it is ok to take it easy.  Doing so will significantly help your physical and mental recovery process. Some of the side effects of chemo and radiation may affect your appearance, but it is important to remember that this is all temporary. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, or even our CSNF counseling team, who can provide services and advice to help you through your treatment.