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Advice

Always take your doctor's advice but here are some tips to help along the way


To Patients

Cancer is not a death sentence, it is only a word. It does however need special attention because the enemy is neither a virus nor a bacteria; it is the body’s own abnormal cells rebelling, replicating not wanting to complete its cycle normally.  

 

The great news is that patients need not be anxious as many of the cancers that were formerly considered ‘fatal’ are now manageable and treatable. Here is some advice that may go hand in hand with treatment

 

Relax and make your body more comfortable. After all, stress in all its many forms causes cancer. You should also consider making critical changes on your own pace that is. Changes in your life style physically mentally and spiritually.

         Eat Healthy. New cancer patients should stick to a basic diet full in proteins, vegetable, fibers and low in fat. It will vary depending on the type of treatment. 

         Exercise. Depending upon your capability is crucial as it will keep your body fit and strong. Take walks, exercise can help reduce stress and fatigue, and can help your appetite. Check with your doctor.

         Stay Away from Tobacco. One must stay away from cigarette smoke

         Stay away from the Sun. Especially during chemotherapy

         Get rest. Some forms of treatment will make you very tired. You must take rest breaks during the day when you need them and do not push yourself if you are unable

 

Physical Health (nutrition and lifestyle)

 Nutrition is very important in preventing disease and aids in curing it. During your treatment you will most likely be ‘immuno-compromised’, that means your immune system will be weak and what is left of it will be fighting any incoming infections. You can help your immune system, you can help your body.

  • If you are suffering from nausea and vomiting, follow the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). These foods are bland and easy to digest. Avoid milk and cheese products and fried foods. Avoid any strong-smelling food
  • If you are vomiting and suffering from diarrhea, drink gatorade or pedialyte to restore your electrolytes. Some forms of treatment cause constipation. There are many things that you may try for this: dates, coffee cup of pure olive oil, prunes, all bran/fiber cereal.
  • Lemon drops, cream savers and pocket pack breath strips can help with the metallic taste of chemotherapy.
  • Avoid eating your favorite foods during chemotherapy, as food can taste different during chemotherapy and you can learn an aversion to food you eat during chemotherapy.
  • If you are suffering from mouth sores, avoid crackers and acidic or spicy food.
  • Drink plenty of water to flush your kidneys and help minimize the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea. Water will flush the poisons and residue of dead cells out of your system to keep your body in a clean state.
  • High protein food, like scrambled eggs, fish, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, turkey, may help. But this may not work if you are suffering from nausea. A liquid diet may help, such as soup broth and jello.
  • A small amount of alcohol is permitted but alcohol in general can cause problems with some medication. 

 Note: There is no herbal medical, food or substance that can cure cancer no matter what anyone claims. Speak to your doctor about taking certain vitamins or other supplements.

Mental Health

  • Keep your mind set on the goal: getting cured/getting better. The hardest part of the race is at the end, when you can see the finish line but need the last boost of motivation and all your energy to get you there.
  • Keep yourself busy with hobbies and interests. Sign up to some activities or educational courses where you can be social. Doing the things you love will make you stronger and give you incentive and confidence.
  • Alternative Ways of Fighting Cancer includes a broad list of innovative approaches that is proven very beneficial for some patients. The list includes Hypnosis, yoga, meditation and massage to ease up the pain and loosen up the body.
  • Cancer is a battle that is fought inside the head as much as it is fought medically. You should always prepare yourself for some sort of changes and endure the pain. You should stay optimistic because medicine is developing really fast and every case is different. So stay happy and positive. Some people also find shelter in religion; prayer and dua’a. Always Hope for the best. Hope is a powerful weapon.
  • Treatment plans might change or be stalled according to your progress, extra procedures may be done and sometimes, when you think it’s over, you are told you have to endure some more. It is a true test in patience. And most, if not all cancer patients will endure this.
  • It is very helpful to share your feelings with friends and family as that would make it easier to cope with your condition. No one understands what you are going through like the people going through the same thing. Use our forum to connect with patients, help each other out, support each other, give advice and share experiences. Know that you are strong and you can fight and win this.
  • Brains are brilliant- they make memories but they can also associate memories with smells, tastes, experiences and sight. You may find that this will affect you during your time battling this illness. Know that you are strong and you can fight and win this


To Caregivers

  • Acknowledge that your loved one is going through an illness. One cannot fight something if they do not know what they are up against. Be compassionate but do not overcompensate or this will make your loved one feel that something may be ‘wrong’
  • Accept that there can be some realistic unwanted outcomes as well as changes in the moods of your beloved ones.
  • You also should make sure to ask the doctors about all the info you need to know. Be realistic about your own needs and relax, that way you can be beneficial.
  • Feel free to ask the doctor questions if you accompany your loved one to his or her appointments. Write down questions so you don't forget them.
  • Be prepared for changes in your loved one's behavior and mood. Medications, discomforts, and stress can cause someone with cancer to become depressed or angry.
  • Encourage your loved one to be active and independent, as much as possible, to help him or her regain a sense of self-reliance and confidence.
  • Be realistic about your own needs. Be sure you are sleeping enough, eating properly, and taking some time off for yourself. It is hard to offer much help when you are exhausted.
  • Don't hesitate to ask other family members and friends for help. They will appreciate the opportunity.
  • Family members and friends of a person coping with cancer may also find themselves under a great deal of stress. To reduce your stress:

Keep a positive attitude

Accept that there are events you cannot control. Learn to relax.

Be assertive instead of aggressive. "Assert" your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.

Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when you are physically fit.

Eat well-balanced meals.

Rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.

Don't rely on alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.

Consider joining our forums, share your experiences and learn from others. It may help to feel like you're not alone 

If we want to fight cancer we have to accept the fact that it is a normal thing and there is neither shame nor embarrassment in having cancer. On the contrary, one must be saluted for standing against it. Unfortunately, in our community, it is considered a taboo for someone to get sick which adds pressure to the affected people. It makes them remain silent and avoid treatment. This is wrong and must be changed as soon possible, starting with awareness campaigns to promote better life styles.

It is important to stay positive. You should talk and explain to your loved one what they have in order for them to be able to stay strong at the toughest moments and battle their own battle. If they feel that you are hiding something, lying to them or betraying them they will only resent you and feel more and more negative which will affect their health drastically.