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Keeping well during treatment

There are many strategies that assist with keeping well at home. While undergoing treatment your immune system will be compromised. It is important that you avoid sources of infection.

  • avoid anyone who has an infection

  • wash your hands well and use tissues rather than handkerchiefs. Encourage family members to do the same.

  • keep away from public places that have large gatherings, especially those with children and during winter.

  • wear a mask when in close proximity to many people such as in crowds or on planes.

  • avoid gardening, bags of potting mixture and plants with thorns.

  • rest and relaxation are essential for coping and supporting the immune system. Mind-body activities such as yoga, meditation and exercise are important. Acupuncture can support energy levels. They provide a range of health benefits, both mental and physical. Research shows these activities are a recommended part of cancer treatment and recovery. Your local Cancer Society will likely have access to information about courses in your community.

Keeping a sense of balance - helpful coping tips:

When you are unwell or receiving treatment, deciding what is inside your control with what is outside of your control can help you feel a sense of balance.

Inside my control

Outside my control

  • what I eat

  • what my body can tolerate

  • how much activity I do

  • how I feel when I wake up

  • going to bed at a regular time

  • the effects of treatment on my sleep

  • what I focus my mind on.

  • unexpected news or distressing events.

  • Balance of perspective. It’s okay to feel sad and distressed, just as much as it’s okay to find joy and some funny moments during your illness. No bad feeling lasts forever, and it’s okay to use humour or to feel joy. It is possible to experience a full range of emotion, and you shouldn't feel guilty about that.

  • Decide for yourself what will make you feel good. If you like music, listen to music. Read, walk, watch movies or TV. Simple pleasures like a cup of tea in the sun, or a walk around the garden can feel amazing. They use your senses, and allow a pause during what can be a very difficult time.

  • When you’re going through something difficult, navigating relationships with others can be challenging. Some people will show up and give you what you need, while others may respond in less helpful ways, and this may be surprising to you. True support people want to help, so being specific about what you need (e.g. meals, a ride to the hospital, a coffee and a chat) will help them know that they’re helping you in a way that is meaningful and appreciated.