“Cancer” word in itself causes concern and anxiety. Chemotherapy makes this anxiety real and apparent. It is okay and normal to feel nervous and worried. Chemotherapy treatment in itself has its side effects and sometimes they may be severe. The patient does not have these before the start of the treatment and may appear quite worrisome. Thus it is important that before the start of the therapy, the patient is aware of the benefits outweighing the side effects from the therapy.
The first thing to tackle this anxiety of side effects is to understand the fears one may have, if they are of hair loss, fatigue, associated pain or nausea? These fears once isolated are to be specifically discussed in detail with the treating doctor for better clarity. In case the patient is fearing the entire idea of chemotherapy and associated side effects, it is best to have a support within the family or friends. Find out someone who has undergone this experience which may make it much more manageable and normal. These ex-patients have lived through chemotherapy and can help the new patients travel the divide and make it easy for them to comprehend and accept the life style changes and such.
It is important to share the fears a patient has with the treating doctor as then, the doctors may be able to circumvent through the fear cause and help the patient in administering the therapy in diverse method. For eg there are several ways chemo medication can be given to the patient. It is pertinent to have a transparent communication with the doctor regarding the fears of chemotherapy as then only the doctors would be able to tell the patient how to combat the fears and empower her with information to take action.
Other indigenous therapies which are holistic in approach have been recently seen to give good results. These unconventional techniques when combined with the conventional medicines is a relatively new approach but shown to ease free, anxiety and stress. Aromatherapy, guided imagery, hypnosis, journaling, massage, meditation, music therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, prayer, support groups, tai chi and yoga are the most popular complementary techniques.