Many people are able to maintain their normal lifestyle during their chemotherapy treatments. Much of it depends on how you are feeling and the degree to which you are experiencing side-effects. Some of the things for you to consider and discuss with your doctor include:
Your ability to maintain your normal work schedule. We will try to schedule your treatments and other appointments so that the need to take time off from your job is minimized. If this is not possible, or you are not well enough to go to work, we will help you to file disability forms.
Your participation in your normal activities – If you regularly participate in any sport or physical activity, please discuss it with your doctor, as physical exertion may not be appropriate, and exposure to germs may be a concern.
Sexual relations/Family planning – – Sexual relations may be affected by side-effects as well as hormonal shifts during chemotherapy. It is helpful to be open with your partner, and obtain information from your health care team. Please note that chemotherapy is excreted in semen, vaginal secretions and urine. Barrier methods such as condoms should be used during this time.Double flush the toilet in case of pets or small children having contact with toilet water. Pregnancy must be avoided at this time. Furthermore, some chemotherapy drugs can affect future fertility. In this case, your doctor can provide information on sperm banking or egg preservation.
Emotional management – Undergoing cancer treatment can affect you on many levels from financial concerns to family relationships. It is important to have some kind of support whether it be from family, friends, co-workers or professional counselors. If you do not have a base of support, or feel that you are depressed, please talk to your doctor so that he may make the appropriate recommendations or referrals. The staff of Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center includes a psycho-social clinical counselor as well as a financial counselor.
Travel – If you travel for business, or have a vacation planned, please discuss this with your doctor. Some chemotherapy regimes must be administered with specific timing and some treatments may cause side-effects that require monitoring.