Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chemotherapy Fears – How to Deal With Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy fears happen when you are suggested to go chemotherapy to cure your cancer cells, it is but normal to be scared and anxious especially for first timers. How to deal with chemotherapy is something that is doable with the patient’s effort and his family’s support. While support of family and close friends can be very helpful, your help to yourself is the most contributing factor of handling chemotherapy fears.

When your cancer is for real

With chemotherapy as a treatment, you finally realize that you have cancer and it is for real. This is when chemotherapy fears start and it is important to know how to deal with it.

For the first phase of a chemo treatment, no symptoms might be felt and the patient shall question himself if he made the right decision to go chemo or not. That the benefits of treatment are far better than the side effects. This holds true to people with more side effects and their worries are higher.

Specify your fears

Doctors recommend patients to identify their fears. Specify which one are they afraid of. Is it the chemo itself or its side effects? Chemotherapy fears can be fear of losing your hair. Or of changing your appearance. However, if you know how to deal with it, then everything will just be fine.

Are you afraid of nausea? Of fatigue? Or of pain? Or are you afraid to die? Or are you simply afraid of staying in a clinic or hospital. The more specific the fear, the more specific is the help. For example, if you are afraid of the needles or of the IV put in your arm or hand, your doctor will see to it that you get a local anesthetic to numb the area or you get a sedative.

A support group can be very helpful. It can make the chemo experience normal. They can help get rid of your chemotherapy fears and how to deal with it throughout the treatment and make action plans to move on normally.

Other techniques to reduce fears and stress

There are some techniques that help rid the fears and stress of chemotherapy. Though they are new and studies are ongoing, some results show positive outcomes for patients who undergo these techniques. Examples of which are prayer, guided imagery, aromatherapy, massage, meditation, hypnosis, journaling, music therapy, support groups, yoga and tai chi.

Love of self, family and friends

It is significant for a patient to have a good family foundation to feel his self-worth. The love the patient has for his family and close friends can make him fight for his cancer not only for his own sake but for the sake of those whom he loves. Then chemotherapy fears and how to deal with the treatment can be just any normal experience.

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