After successfully achieving remission from cancer, you may be surprised at the persistence of certain health issues. The disease itself and the type of cancer care you received can have lasting side effects, including fatigue and pain. Give yourself time to heal and recover, and talk to your cancer care specialist about ways of coping with your symptoms. Remember that everyone experiences different issues; your best source of information about your particular symptoms is your cancer care specialist.
Fatigue is among the most prevalent side effects of cancer care, both during the treatment and afterward. Throughout the first year of recovery, you’re likely to experience extreme tiredness that is not alleviated by resting or sleeping more than usual. Nutritional deficiencies, poor fluid intake, anemia, and depression can contribute to fatigue. You can cope with fatigue by talking to your cancer care specialist about your medications and nutritional needs. Doing some light exercise each day, improving your fluid intake, and prioritizing your activities may help.
Pain after cancer care can stem from surgery or injured nerves. It may even involve phantom pain if you had the surgical removal of a limb or breast. Your cancer care specialist can prescribe medications to help control your pain. You can also reduce discomfort by working with a physical therapist, practicing relaxation techniques, and trying acupuncture.
“Chemobrain” or brain fog is a common problem among cancer survivors. You may experience concentration and memory problems during your cancer care or afterward. For example, others might inform you that you’ve already repeated information a few times, even though you have no memory of having done so. You can cope with these cognitive issues by writing down reminder notes of important information. Some cancer survivors talk themselves through the various steps of tasks, while others find it helpful to repeat information out loud.
The Cancer Care Unit at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota provides compassionate, patient-centered care for those with cancer and their families. We understand the need for a whole-patient approach to cancer care, and so we offer a continuum of services including emotional support, patient education, complementary therapies, nutritional support, and much more. If you wish to learn more about the cancer care program at our hospital, please contact our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (888) 685-1596.