Chronic conditions are always a scare that appears out of nowhere. Accepting such conditions and hoping for the best requires immense strength and will. Cancer is one such chronic condition that has always been dreaded, given that there is still no sure shot cure for it. However, it should not be perceived as all bad.
Although cancer is a complex condition to live with, there are several ways to manage it and live fruitfully with friends and family. Chemotherapy is one popular method used to control cancer. Experts suggest individuals hold on to a chemo bag that has everything from magazines to chemo caps for their sessions.
From 2019 to now, thyroid cancer has been the most frequently diagnosed case in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, cancer cases multiply at 480 points per year. Reports from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggest that more Aussie men (around 70,000) are affected by cancer than women (approximately 62,000).
What is chemotherapy?
Cancer is a chronic disease that involves the massive multiplication of cells in the body rapidly. These abnormal cells divide at an uncontrollable rate and destroy body tissues. There are many types of cancers based on which parts the cancerous cells attack. Prostate cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer are examples.
Chemotherapy is one of the most common methods of treatment used in cancer patients. This method utilises drugs to reduce the speed with which the malignant cells multiply. The goals of chemotherapy largely depend on the type of cancer it is administered for. Typically, chemotherapy is used for a variety of purposes. It is used to shrink tumours before surgery, destroy remaining cancer cells after surgery, or sometimes as the only treatment in case of leukaemia.
Each individual gets a unique chemotherapy plan based on their specifications as overseen by their doctor. Chemotherapy is administered for a fixed period, like six months, after which the effects are evaluated.
Since chemotherapy utilises a lot of powerful drug combinations, there is a slight chance of the treatment destroying healthy cells during the process of destroying cancerous cells. This process is often what causes the various side effects associated with chemotherapy.
Sitting in chemotherapy can be pretty stressful as each sitting could last an hour or so. During this period, the patients are not allowed to move or get up from their seats! Therefore, many doctors suggest carrying a chemo bag that consists of all the essentials needed for a chemo session:
- Activity: Chemo can take several hours to administer. So carrying a book, magazine or kindle is suggested to run time as one can’t fall asleep during the procedure. If the patient is an office-goer, they can even carry their laptop to continue working during the session.
- Chemo Caps: A chemo cap is a helmet-like cap that compels the head to prevent further hair loss. Hair loss is a prominent side effect of chemotherapy. These caps consist of a cooling gel and can be worn during chemotherapy infusions.
- Snacks: Since chemotherapy sessions can take quite long to complete and are exhausting, the person might feel drained and dizzy if they don’t eat adequately. Packing healthy snacks before leaving is vital in such cases.
- Nausea relief: In many chemo cases, the person might feel bouts of nausea due to the drugs. Carrying a previously used anti-nausea medicine or some aroma oil like peppermint might be helpful.