Chemotherapy is a common treatment for cancer that sets many patients back on the road to recovery. However, starting chemo can throw a patient’s life into a bit of disarray, as he or she needs to adjust to new schedules, unpleasant side effects, and stressful financial obligations. Having a cancer care plan in place can help patients to face those challenges head-on.
Assemble Your Team
One of the first steps to consider is selecting an oncologist and a cancer care team. Research extensively and meet in person with the doctors to ensure a good fit. Next, compile questions to ask your oncologist, such as expected timeframes, the ins and out of the chemotherapy process and the cost of chemotherapy. From there, patients and their families can begin to prepare themselves and their lives for this new chapter.
Prepare for Side Effects
One of the questions for the oncologist should be, what are the side effects of chemotherapy? The treatment affects all patients differently, but common side effects include extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, appetite changes, anemia, and others. Learn about what may be coming down the pike before ever starting treatment so you feel prepared both physically and mentally. Knowing the potential side effects of chemotherapy can also help patients to curb some of them. Meal planning or chemotherapy patients, for instance, can help patients lessen some of the treatment effects while promoting good nutrition. Several small meals per day, instead of a few large ones, can minimize nausea while ensuring patients are fortifying their systems.
Get Help with Finances
The cost of chemotherapy is another potential complication many patients face. Even with quality health insurance, treatment can be exorbitant, so it’s important for patients to assess their financial options before beginning chemo. Programs like Life Credit’s Living Benefits Loans allow patients to borrow against their own life insurance in order to meet the financial burden of cancer. Learn about the options, find a plan that’s right for you and get started so you can put the finances at the back of your mind and focus only on your health.