How I Coped With Nausea During Chemotherapy

Updated on March 31, 2020
LornsA178 profile image

Lorna was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. She underwent chemo for six months. She is a christian homeschooled mom and homemaker.

Here's how I coped with nausea while undergoing chemotherapy.
Here's how I coped with nausea while undergoing chemotherapy. | Source

After colon cancer surgery, I needed to undergo chemotherapy for six months. We were at the cancer center every two weeks for my infusion. My hair started thinning. I had to shave it myself because it did not look good to leave it that way. I was using all kinds of hats and scarfs to cover my head.

My immune system was weakened, so I had to use a mask when I was in public places. People could tell I had cancer because I was using a headcover, a mask, and an infusion pump. Using a mask was hard at first because I could not breathe well, but the longer I used it the more I got used to it.

I Exercised as Much as I Could

My doctor told me I should at least walk for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. I forced myself to exercise because I needed it to stay strong. Walking on nature trails were great because I didn't need to use a mask since I wasn't surrounded by people. But on rainy days I walked indoors, which required me to wear a mask—so inconvenient.

I Saw a Nutritionist

My doctor also recommended that I see a nutritionist. The cancer center has a variety of programs for patients. One of them was a free consultation with a nutritionist since they wanted me to stay as healthy as possible while undergoing chemotherapy. Here's what she suggested.

  • Eat 6-8 small meals a day instead of 3 large meals.
  • Eat high-protein foods, including beef, chicken, fish, turkey, lamb, milk, certain cheeses, yogurt (especially Greek yogurt), cottage cheese, and cream cheese.
  • Chemotherapy can make you lose a lot of weight, so she told me to add butter or margarine to my soups, vegetables, mashed potatoes, cooked cereal, and rice.
  • Use mayonnaise on salads and add eggs and lettuce to any sandwich I eat.
  • Eat peanut butter which has lots of protein and calories. I spread it on my apples, bananas, and pears.
  • Snacks should consist of nuts, dried fruit, crackers, cheese, granola, ice cream, and popsicles.
  • Eat dry foods, such as crackers, toast, dry cereals, breadsticks, etc.
  • Eat foods that do not have a strong odor.
  • Eat cool foods instead of hot, spicy foods.
  • Avoid foods that are overly sweet, greasy, fried, or spicy.
  • Sit up for at least one hour after eating.
  • Sip on clear liquids to prevent dehydration.

two pieces of toast in a toaster
two pieces of toast in a toaster | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here's some soup that I would eat a lot while undergoing chemo. an array of seafood, meat, and veggiesSeafood, meat, and vegetables are high in protein and help with energy.
Here's some soup that I would eat a lot while undergoing chemo.
Here's some soup that I would eat a lot while undergoing chemo. | Source
an array of seafood, meat, and veggies
an array of seafood, meat, and veggies | Source
Seafood, meat, and vegetables are high in protein and help with energy.
Seafood, meat, and vegetables are high in protein and help with energy. | Source

I Ate Mostly Filipino Food

I had a hard time eating when I was undergoing treatment. Food just did not taste good. I could not bear eating our usual food at home, including baked chicken, baked fish, rice, steamed vegetables. They made me more nauseous.

However, I craved Filipino Food. I had abandoned it for a long time after adapting to my husband's diet. Filipino dishes smelled and tasted good during treatment. It felt like I was pregnant—feeling nauseous and craving for specific foods.

It's funny that the only food my taste buds could handle was the food I grew up with. When I was eating Filipino food, it seemed that it had a familiar taste that my stomach can accept. I didn't feel nauseous. Thank God there's a Filipino restaurant about 30 minutes away from us. My husband and I would drive there every few days to buy food for me. If not for that restaurant, I don't know if I would have survived chemotherapy.

Music Helped Me Sleep

I was so nauseous that I could not sleep. I would stay up late at night crying. Music helped a lot during that time. I also listened to God's word—it gave me the strength to go on.

Usually, on the first day of chemo, I would feel okay, but by the third day, I started to feel more nauseous. It would continue for a few more days until my next infusion. The medication my doctor prescribed for nausea was not working. Next chemo cycle, I told my oncologist about it, and he prescribed another one, which seemed to help a little.

essential oil diffuser
essential oil diffuser | Source

I Used Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy also helped me during chemotherapy. I diffused a combination of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. I was grateful that I did not get a cold or flu during my chemotherapy, which would have been dangerous because of my weakened immune system.

Peppermint helped with my nausea. I would put a few drops in my hands, rub it, and cup my hands over my nose to inhale the scent. It smelled so good and kept my nausea down. I also mixed peppermint with coconut oil and rubbed it under my feet.

Those essential oils were very helpful in easing the discomfort of chemotherapy.

The photo above was at the Infusion Center. I was there for my four-month blood test and oncologist check up.
The photo above was at the Infusion Center. I was there for my four-month blood test and oncologist check up. | Source

I Took Advantage of My Cancer Center's Resources

I am so blessed that the Northwestern Cancer Center offered a lot of resources to its cancer patients. I was able to take advantage of a free 15-minute massage at least twice a month. One time, I won some goodies from raffle tickets they put in the waiting area.

They were so sensitive to the needs of their patients. The doctors, nurses, and staff were very helpful in making my treatments bearable. Chemotherapy was so hard for me. I give credit to those people who still work during treatment.

It's been two years since I was diagnosed with colon cancer. My chemotherapy ended in September 2018. My port was taken out. I now see my oncologist every four months. I am under surveillance for five years.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Lorna

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • LornsA178 profile imageAUTHOR

        Lorna 

        4 months ago from USA

        Thank you Lorna, it's always nice to read your comments. Thank you also for your encouraging words. I am grateful that I am in remission now. Blessings to you too!

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        4 months ago

        This has been such a difficult journey Lorna and what stands out the most to me is the courage you have shown in meeting each obstacle. It is interesting that you craved the food you grew up with. I am glad your chemo treatment is over and you are now having regular check ups. The treatment you have received is excellent and now you are in remission. Wonderful news for you and your family. Blessings.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, patientslounge.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)