Guide to Managing Your Chemotherapy Treatment: Support

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Date: November 2012

>> Cancer treatment causes major changes in your life.  It's not unusual to feel depressed, angry, or fearful during chemotherapy.  If you experience any of these emotional changes be sure to tell your health care team. 

>> Don't be afraid, just know what the process we have to go through, it's okay to show your emotions, if you need to cry, cry.

>> The irritability, you go from the mood swings, things that you enjoy and things that you used to get excited about, maybe you don't feel the same anymore. 

>> Talking about your feeling will help you keep a more positive attitude during treatment.  Seek support from your family and friends, your social worker, or chaplain.  You also may want to talk to others who are going through the same thing you are.  Ask your social worker about a cancer support group in your local area.  MD Anderson provides a number of different resources for patients and their families. 

At The Learning Center, caring and knowledgeable staff help visitors in obtaining current and reliable information to answer medical questions.  The learning center provides access to medical web sites, journals, books, videos and other resources. 

The integrative medicine center helps patients who want to incorporate integrative therapies into their conventional cancer care.  Evidence based programs and clinical services focus on the social, mind spirit, and physical aspects of health.  These include acupuncture, massage, nutritional counseling, yoga, guided imagery and more. 

Social workers provide free short term counseling, information on support groups, community resources and other special programs.  And Chaplaincy offers regular chapel services, sacramental ministry, pastoral support and counseling. 

>> Going through this journey, if you do not have something in here that you can hold onto it doesn't matter what kind of chemo you're on, it doesn't matter what kind of tools or fancy MRI's and PET Scans or whatever it doesn't matter because you have to also heal yourself from the inside out, you can't just rely on this external stuff, you have to rely also on your internal.