If you’re considering chemotherapy as part of your stomach cancer treatment plan, you may be wondering about the side effects that you might experience. Or, you might be curious about how long your treatment will last, how many appointments you will have and how it will impact your day-to-day life.
In reality, every person’s experience is different. You might find that you’re able to go to work and care for your family with only a few minor challenges. Or, you might require more time to rest than you’d originally anticipated. There’s no such thing as a "universal" experience, and you won’t know how your body will respond to treatment until after you’ve started.
Tips for preparing for stomach cancer chemotherapy
That said, keep in mind that there are a number of things you can do ahead of time to make your experience easier. For instance:
- Find a family member or friend who can come with you to your appointments. He or she can not only provide emotional support, but also help you remember little details that you might otherwise miss, such as the names of medications that your oncologist might prescribe to help you deal with side effects.
- Ask for help around your house. Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of stomach cancer chemotherapy, and the last thing you’ll want to do while you recover is worry about chores. Reach out to loved ones for help with grocery shopping, laundry, washing dishes and other day-to-day tasks. You’ll likely find that people are ready and willing to help.
- Make extra food before your first appointment. You’ll likely want to stick to a bland diet during stomach cancer chemotherapy to cope with nausea, diarrhea and other side effects. At the same time, a nutritious diet can help you maintain your strength. Prepare some meals in advance, such as mashed potatoes, chicken and vegetable soup or noodles with peas. Store the dishes in a freezer, then reheat whenever you’re ready for a simple and healthful home-cooked meal.
- If you feel comfortable doing so, talk with your boss. You don’t have to tell your employer that you have stomach cancer, although it can be helpful if you think you will need to take time off or adjust your workload. Your company may be able to help you make arrangements for paid time off, adjust your schedule or reassign certain responsibilities to your coworkers, if necessary.
Supportive care is available at Moffitt Cancer Center
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we are here to guide you through the stomach cancer treatment process. We can help you prepare for chemotherapy – or any other form of treatment – and no referral is required to make an appointment. To learn more, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.