You may not need all of these options, but if they help to protect you, why not?
Oh and of course, please don't forget to check with your doctor first.
Nails - Tea Tree Oil
This can easily be found at your local health food store. Rub this into your nails and nail beds 2 times a day to help prevent fungus. Since chemotherapy drugs target rapidly-growing cells, your hair, mouth, and nail cells are likely to bear some damage. With this damage, the rates of infection and fungus increase, which is where the Tea Tree Oil comes into play. If you have never interacted with Tea Tree Oil before, spot test this out first to make sure your body doesn't have any negative reactions to it.
Mouth - Gargling Solution
As we just said, chemotherapy treatment focuses its efforts on rapidly produced cells. The cells that make up your lips and mouth are some of the fastest reproducing cells you have which is why once the chemotherapy drugs kick in, you become more at risk for infections in the form of mouth sores.
To help with sore prevention, mix up a solution with the following ratio and gargle 3 to 5 times a day:
- purified water
- 3:4 baking soda
- 1:4 salt
Eyes - SYSTANE® Nighttime Lubricant Eye Ointment
Hate feeling like you have sand or gritt stuck in your eye? We thought you might. Often times chemotherapy can cause dry eye syndrome, meaning you aren't producing enough tears. When this happens, it can feel incredibly itchy and painful so we recommend using this SYSTANE® Nighttime Lubricant Eye Ointment. There are plenty of brands out there with similar products, but this one really seems to do the job. Use the recommended amount before going to sleep to avoid waking up with uncomfortable eyes.
Stomach - Probiotics
Odds are you've taken probiotics in the past or at least heard of them. There are tons of different options out there and if you stop by your local health food store, they will be able to point you in the right direction. The key thing you want to remember here is that they need to be refrigerated. Keeping your gut healthy is incredibly important during therapy, especially since reports have come out that a healthy gut plays a key role in how your chemotherapy treatment plays out.
Intestines - Stool Softener
As we already mentioned, chemotherapy treatment can cause dramatic dehydration which, as we all know, can lend to dreaded constipation. This can be uncomfortable in normal every day life, but these drugs can make it much worse. Definitely take your doctors up on any recommendations they may have for a stool softener. Take it the day before and day of your treatment.
Bone Pain - Claritin®
During treatment, those taking Neulasta may want to try taking Claritin® (not Claritin-D®) a day before receiving the shot. Neulasta is an incredibly strong medication that amps up your body's production of white blood cells. A side effect of this is a dramatic increase of histamines which is where the Claritin® comes into play.
Weight - Fat Rich, Nutrient Rich Foods
Weight loss is expected during chemotherapy treatment but it is something you should definitely keep an eye on, even keeping a daily journal of your current weight. Obviously eating nutrient rich foods is the healthier route but if this is cutting it and you're having a difficult time keeping the lbs, don't be shy of delving into the world of high caloric foods. Seriously - as in midnight runs to McDonalds.
Nausea - EMEND® Preventative Nausea Medication
Get this prescribed from you doctor before hand and order ahead of time. It comes with 3 pills for 3 days. EMEND® covers all your bases, stopping nausea by preventing the signals sent out from both your stomach and brain.
Hydrate - Water. Lots and lots of water.
Try to drink at least 2 liters of purified water per day for the following 2 days after a chemotherapy treatment. Staying hydrated is easier said than done since some of the many side effects of treatment include vomiting, diarrhea and sweating. Add that on top of how many patients complain that treatment can affect their taste buds, noticeably when tasting water. Metallic tasting water? No thank you. Nevertheless, the more you drink, the better off you will be, warding off constipation, mouth sores, fatigue, and flushing toxic waste that can buildup in your kidneys.