Secrets to Combating the Side Effects of Chemo

The side effects of chemotherapy can present patients with additional, uncomfortable challenges, including severe energy loss, depression, skin impairments, hair loss, nausea and change of appetite. As a caregiver, you can help your loved one combat the side effects of chemo in a number of ways.

Skin Problems: Cancer patients are at risk for numerous treatment- and disease-related skin impairments. Caregivers can help these skin problems by encouraging the use of sunscreen, helping to protect affected areas from trauma, and keeping skin clean and dry.

Hair Loss: Caregivers can encourage the purchase of a wig prior to treatment (in order to match hair color to a wig), and can minimize hair loss by using baby shampoo, a soft hairbrush, and minimizing hair washing.

Depression: If depression is suspected, contact a mental health professional. Also be sure to have health care providers review all medications for depressive side effects.

  • Appetite Changes: To combat nausea or lack of appetite, caregivers can encourage their loved one to:
  • Eat five or six small meals each day, instead of three big meals.
  • Eat with plastic forks or spoons if food tastes like metal. Use a glass pot for cooking.
  • Talk with the doctor or nurse to make sure the anti-nausea medicine is being taken the right way.
  • Eat less greasy, fried, salty, sweet, or spicy foods if they cause nausea.
  • Let others do the cooking if the smell of food causes nausea.

Heaven at Home serves those in northern Texas and can aid your loved one during chemotherapy treatments with our dedicated in-home care services. We’d love to talk to you more about how our caregivers can help your loved one live a happier, healthier life at home while fighting cancer. Contact us today!