Recovering Cancer: How to Improve Your Lifestyle as a Patient

Cancer patients undergo one of the most life-changing events in their lives. As such, they will need all the support they could possibly receive. There might be some things that will require significant changes to accommodate your illness and it might be restrictive. Still,  there are a lot of things you can do to improve your quality of life.  After getting an okay sign from your physician, here are a list of things that you can

Know About Your Disease

Being diagnosed with cancer might be frightening for most, especially if you are unprepared. Thus, knowing what kind of illness you have will allow you to get yourself ready and give yourself an idea of how to take care of yourself better.

There are lots of diagnostics to find out if you have cancer. Once confirmed, the bad news will certainly take a toll on you. To lessen the burden, you can read more about your condition. For example, if your cancer has something to do with your inguinal lymph nodes, you can go online and find out more about it.

You can read testimonies from past patients, current advances in treatment and medication, what to expect when undergoing chemo, and many more. Knowing more about your condition can be helpful, but of course, don’t overdo it. Try to take in info slowly and calm yourself so you can be ready for the things to come.

Watch After Your Mental Health

The impact of cancer is significant to the patient and their family. They sometimes struggle not only financially but also physically and emotionally. It is also expected to feel stress, depression, and anxiety due to the uncertainty of what could happen as you recover.

However, note that these negative feelings can only negatively impact your treatment and recovery process. So, it is vital to make your mental health one of your priorities, along with your physical health.

One of the things you can do is the verbalization of your feelings, which is one of the influential factors. Try to communicate to your support people about your worries or the things that keep you up at night. Tell them which parts hurt and what they can do to help.

Accept practical and emotional support from your healthcare provider, family, and friends. You can also network or go through group therapy with other recovering cancer patients to verbalize your feelings.

Manage Your Stress

Stress is a very powerful emotion that can slow your recovery, which may further weaken your immune system and make it harder for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, stressors are sometimes avoidable as these are predictable.

One way you can regulate your stress is to identify the stressor. You can make a list of the things that are bugging you out. You can use a planner or a journal to sort out your thoughts. Once this process is complete, you can then try to assess what you can do.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help on the tasks you need help with, such as pet-sitting and meal preparations. Your main focus should be on your recovery process and don’t let other factors affect you during this stage.

Try to Sleep on a Regular Schedule

The period of sleep is where your body repairs and restores itself.  Stress and sleep are connected. Stress also disrupts your sleep cycles. Stress increases daytime sleepiness and fatigue, disrupting your sleep cycle and mood.

Sleep is an effective way to lower stress. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule helps to balance your mood, soothe and rejuvenate your body, and enhance focus. Not only that but if you are still undergoing chemotherapy, you need to have a regular sleep for you to save your energy because undergoing chemotherapy might be tiring for you.

Improve Your Nutritional Diet

Having a well-balanced diet can help you immensely. It can give you more energy, help you build a more robust immune system, and reduce your risks for diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Diets mainly composed of plants, such as vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and low-fat dairy are highly recommended. On the other hand, you should avoid processed foods or packaged foods because these foods contain preservatives like nitrites. You must also avoid red meat since it is high in saturated fat or bad cholesterol. Overall, proteins must be limited when undergoing chemotherapy. 

However, due to the cancer treatment’s side effects, it may be hard to eat more. So, you can either do small frequent feedings of five to six small meals throughout the day or track your appetite, wherein you will eat a big meal when you are the hungriest. You can also have smoothies or shakes to help increase your caloric intake since liquids are not difficult to consume.

Find New Hobbies

New hobbies that can either relax your mind or hobbies that add more movement to your daily activities. Adding more movement to your daily activities during and after cancer treatment can help you in various ways, such as reducing your anxiety and boosting positive feelings, improving your self-esteem and heart, increasing muscle strength, and reducing fatigability.

You can add movement to your daily activities by doing chores, walking instead of driving if the place is nearby, or taking the stairs instead of an elevator. You can also incorporate simple exercises when doing small things, such as watching television, reading a book, or listening to music.

Final Thoughts

Living a healthy lifestyle after cancer entails modifying harmful behaviors as part of a rewarding, continuous process that lasts a lifetime. Each of us can live each day a little better, but we need to focus on the purpose and the goals to help us achieve them. Through the power of the will to live, you can further achieve and experience the wonders of life and appreciate its meanings.

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