Home Cancer Expert Q&A Hub Coping With Treatments & Side Effects

Top Tips for getting through treatment...do you have one to share?

LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

Hi everyone,

I have been thinking, lately that we have several new (ish) members who have joined our brilliant community who are navigating their way through a variety of treatments, chemo, radiotherapy, surgery and other types of treatment.

When the community started a year ago we did a couple of discussions, some in giveaways, now closed, sharing top tips.

So I thought we could start a new one, I am sure there are many of you who have brilliant ideas and thoughts on this. It would be great to share them with everyone else, as sometimes 'good ideas' escape us when we are in the midst of it all.

Whether it is a particular type of treatment, or how you got through the minefield of being diagnosed, it would be wonderful to hear from you.

In this category, back in the early pages there are some really helpful posts from members too. They are well worth scrolling through and reading.

Another place to look is in the Articles and Expert Guides section. There are many helpful ideas and tips, clicking on any of the tags listed will bring up the relevant information.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Chat soon,



  • VeritercVeriterc Posts: 19

    I managed to pick up almost every side effect going. Being treated in UK the NHS isn't very good at dealing with 'unexpected incidents' (they don't think 'what if....) so I set up my own website aftercancers.com

    on how to deal using evidence-based treatment and medicine e.g. exercise, M.L.D., etc. I didnt want to go down the supplements and miracle foods path, but took advice of doctors and nurses who acknowledged that we can have problems, and ways of dealing with these. Hope it might be helpful.

  • NicJPNicJP Posts: 3

    Hi, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December and have had a lumpectomy and the the removal of a set of lymph nodes, I’m due a second op to remove my remaining nodes next week. Then likely 3 Chemo sessions and hormone repression drugs. I’m looking for general advice and support on coping with side effects of surgery and Chemo. I’m pretty scared and have a 5 year old daughter. I’m lucky that I have a wonderfully supportive partner, friends and workplace but I still feel weirdly alone in all this, needing advice from people that have been through it. Clinical advice is understandably very general. Anything to arm me for what’s coming gratefully received x

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Hi, I've just joined the Community but I've had a lot of experience navigating side effects so I'd like to share - if ever it can be useful. I was diagnosed with non Hodgkin's Lymphoma B in Aug 2018 aged 55 after my ovaries were removed . I had 10 sessions of chemo R-Chop & methotraxate. This got rid of the cancer. The side effects I experienced were uncomfortable but in some ways not as bad as if expected. I never felt sick which was a huge relief. I had mild neuropathy in fingers, lost feeling & taste in my mouth, mucositis, bad nails & cold sweats. I was able to go back to work 4 months after the end of treatment, even if I was more tired than before.

    However in Nov 2019 my cancer came back, but this time it's ALL (acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia). The side effects are similar to before (taste loss, muscitis) but the neuropathy is worse & in my toes.Generally it's not painful, if it is, I massage my foot & it eases off. I get breathless easily as red blood cells are low & need regular transfusions of blood & platelets. I'd say my main discomfort is cold sweats day & night. Sometimes 25-30/ day.

    But you get used to the side effects, & after the first chemo you know what to expect so it's less frightening. You learn how to deal with them & go with them. Maybe I've been lucky but I haven't found them as awful as I'd expected. Just frustrating at times.

    One of the worst side effects can be constipation. Eat cereals, lentils, veg & drink prune juice! I've managed to avoid it,touchwood.

    Trying to keep positive thru all this definitely helps. I got thru one cancer, no reason I won't get thru the next. Side effects will lessen & go. Hair grows back etc.

    Easier said than done sometimes & there are days when I feel sorry for myself & moan a lot to my poor husband...

    Good luck, keep calm & keep fighting. Ali

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hello Nic,

    I was wondering how you are getting on with your treatment? Did you manage to get through all the chemo? Since we last spoke we now have another expert on the forum, @LizzyB73 , Liz is a Specialist Oncologist Nurse. There is a specific thread you can post any questions etc regarding your treatment.

    It is really great to have access to people like Liz, who really understand where you are at, but also have medical expertise to share.

    I imagine you are listed as a vulnerable person, and are in isolation, I hope you have everything you need and your and your family are coping well with the lockdown. Your daughter not being at school with friends and classmates must be difficult to comprehend and understand at her young age.

    Sending you best wishes, always here for a chat if you fancy a coffee and chat,

    Take care,

    Lou x

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Ali,

    Thank you so much for sharing some of your experience with us all, it is really helpful and useful for everyone who is about to undertake a similar treatment, or similar diagnosis. Your post is really positive too, even though treatment is incredibly hard, and not without some awful side effects. For many it is still possible to endure, your post shows just that! 😊

    Obviously there are some who have to have treatment adapted or even suspended etc because it really does more damage than provide the benefit it is trying to bring, and this is very difficult. But I know some of these people, and thankfully they too, have come through the rest of their treatment, despite the 'difficulties' they encountered.

    I hope you have a good day,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 406 Community Admin

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you so much for your tips so far. We've also asked our wider Community (including those who follow our social media page) if they had any advice - and then we turned the answers into this infographics! It's so great to be a part of such a helpful community.

    Part2 coming soon. x

  • Sh1v4S4pph14eSh1v4S4pph14e Posts: 2

    Hi Nic,

    Like you I had a lumpectomy also had 4 lymph nodes removed at the beginning of June last year.

    I'm probably quite a bit older than you so you probably have a lot more energy than I had, you need to take care not lifting or straining on the affected side. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to heal, I had twinges and pain form time to time which is quite normal. Of course its a wound healing.

    After healing I had 4 cycles of chemotherapy July - August there are many side effects and you will probably be told about them all. Though doesn't mean you will get them all or any. Some people tolerate it better than others everyone is different also depends on which chemo drugs you have. The main thing is it can make you very tired. So you need to kind to yourself and go with the flow. My chemo was completed before Christmas. I also had to have radiotherapy which started 2nd Jan finished at the end of January. I have now completed all the treatment I have to take letrozole daily for 5 years. its a hormone inhibitor as my cancer was oestrogen positive.

    I now feel very well and hopefully out the other side. I think the best way through this is to stay positive take one day at a time. Of course there will be days when you feel down but nothing lasts there will be plenty of good days too.

    Sending you love and healing x

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