When you receive a diagnosis of leukemia, the world may seem to grind to a halt.
You will need time to process things, as well as begin treatment for the condition, which usually includes chemotherapy or radiotherapy. These treatments are, however, not exactly easy on the body, and many people are surprised by how much impact they can have on their lives.
So, to help you maintain your life as best as you can through your leukemia treatment, here is a simple guide to follow.
Eat A Balanced Diet
When someone types ‘what are the signs of leukemia’ into a search engine, one of the first symptoms to appear is swollen lymph nodes in the neck. This can spread to the jaw, making it hard to want to eat food. However, when you are undertaking leukemia treatment, you need to keep your strength up, even with the swollen lymph nodes, so you should aim to eat three meals a day with a lot of healthy snacking in between. The best foods to eat can include lean meats, such as chicken, turkey and fish, as well as fresh vegetables and fruit, but be sure to talk to your doctor or nurse before making any major changes to your diet.
Exercise (as much as you can)
You don’t have to be running marathons all the time, but when you are undertaking leukemia treatment, one of the best things you can do to help yourself feel and stay positive is to exercise. Indeed, many people who have leukemia are advised by healthcare professionals to avoid remaining sedentary, as this can worsen symptoms of the disease, such as aches and pains. When you are undertaking chemotherapy or radiotherapy, you are more prone to picking up infections, so try to avoid swimming pools or gyms where you can. It can be advisable to do exercise at home, such as yoga. It can even be worth investing in some small bits for a home gym, like an exercise bike.
Allow Yourself To Feel
Suppressing emotions is never a good idea in daily life, let alone when you are faced with something like leukemia. If you feel angry, allow yourself to feel that powerful emotion and use it to do something constructive- digging over the soil or making bread can help you release some of that frustration. If you feel sad, cry. It sounds simple, but many people suppress tears, leading to more hurt and stress in the long term. If you have concerns that you are experiencing the symptoms of depression, seek professional help.
Get Enough Sleep
With treatments for cancer of any kind, one of the main side effects is a change in sleep patterns, with many people experiencing insomnia. Try to sleep as much as you can when you can, and while it can be hard, try to maintain good sleep hygiene.
For some people with leukemia, it may even be that you are experiencing discomfort, which is preventing you from sleeping. So, talk to your doctor or nurse about pain relief.
Talk To Professionals
A diagnosis of leukemia is enormous, and for almost everyone who receives it, it can be overwhelming.
As mentioned before, if you have concerns about depression, then speak to your nurse or doctor about meeting with a therapist who specializes in cancer support. You aren’t alone in this, and there will be many groups and professionals out there who will want to help you through the emotional side of managing your treatment.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.