Chemotherapy Reading: What activity do you do during chemo sessions?
I was recommended a book to read during my chemotherapy sessions and wanted to share. The name of the book is; The Human Side of Cancer. (Photo Attached)
I was wondering what the group recommended for reading.
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@ce1b There are so many different topics we can pick up to read! Sometimes we simply don't want to be reminded of what we are going through at that moment, and would rather escape into a fictional world. Other times we want to hear what others might have to say about being in our same situation. I understand this book is not a new one, having been published in 2000.
Personally, I want to usually read something that will "take me away" and not really focus on my treatment or chemo, or cancer. I do a fair amount of research on my own, and my experience is my own. I am grateful for information and readily share it, but too much for me, is, well, too much! Reading how others cope with illness can be enlightening, definitely, however I can become overwhelmed with too much personal information. My experience is my own.
Have you gotten this book? What did you think of it?
My chemo experience consisted of 7 days inpatient every 28 days. Instead of reading, I usually unplugged my IV wheelie and walked laps around the bed tower. 32 laps = 4 miles every day, usually 8 laps at a time. That stamina did dwindle by the end of the week as the chemo took over. But walking really helped keep me stay stronger through the process and recovery.
I wasn’t the only walker during chemo. It became a movement and the doctors and nurses encouraged it. It was quite a parade of the ‘bald and beautiful’ but we had fun and encouraged each other. ☺️
Here’s a picture of me around 10PM during the last round of chemo at my local hospital, before heading off to Rochester for a bone marrow transplant a month later. I took my reflection in the window for one last glimpse of ‘the past before heading into the future! ☺️
I did purchase this book on the advice of my oncology physiotherapist. I been having a difficult time accepting my “new normal”. I certainly understand and support your position as everyone’s journey is as different as our physiology.
I am on chapter 4 of the book today as I use it for reading during my chemotherapy treatments. I have found it to be practical information that I will put in my treatment tool box as I begin to write my final chapter(s) in the story of my life.
Please know I too have gathered and absorbed most of the technical information on my cancer but have yet to my human side of the equation. I do see where this read will help me achieve a better understanding of those around me and help me communicate and cope with whatever happens to come my way.
Thank you for sharing your feedback as I’m sure others share your sentiments.
Good morning! What a fun question. When I had chemo I really lucked out because all of the nurses had worked together for 15 years. They were all nuts and had their routines which went from science quizzes to humorous sketches. I was in a large room with chairs in a large shoe horse circle. Some people brought their own books, some had their own portable dvds. So a computer could do that job.
I sat alongside a very funny gal who I still keep in touch with on FB. We took care of each other. I became very portable like Lori did as I had to pee every 20 minutes at most so I just took myself. I always had a family member or friend with me and never felt tired. I actually became more alert- probably a better word would be nosy. I watched everyone, everything. I listened to everyone and watched TV when it was on. But mostly there was a group of us who talked and laughed and settle world wars.
If someone got too loud or obnoxious (we had one guy who had an opinion about everything) the nurses just administered a tranquilizer (that really had been ordered by his dr.) and out he went.
One thing that you might want to try to do, would be to start a journal or a blog. You could begin by just writing down every feeling, thought, and activity that you are involved with.
I wish you luck and hope that you will give us ideas that you come up with! Will you?
Great idea thank you!!!
Hi @ce1b and thanks for starting this discussion. In spite of my three surgeries for NETs I've not had any chemo treatment, so I didn't feel qualified to offer any suggestions. As @gingerw said, I like to be taken away when I'm dealing with something serious. Reading certainly is my way of taking a break from reality and losing myself in another world. I especially like a good mystery, either a contemporary mystery or a classic mystery (thinking Sherlock Holmes, or anything by Dorothy Sayers).
I agree also with @loribmt who used movement to relieve the stress of long hours of chemo. A trip to the Y or a short walk has lasting effects on my mind and attitude. So, if I had to spend time in a chemo treatment room, I would probably join the bald and beautiful parade.
The book you are reading sounds like it is inspiring and teaching you about developing a new way of thinking about this process of dealing with cancer. I'm going to find it so that I will have this resource as well. As @merpreb mentioned, keeping a journal is great. Often, when I'm reading something inspirational, I'll journal for a sentence or two about how I can apply the ideas to my life or at least how I can use the information to help me.
I would encourage you to share this book with a Connect conversation group titled,
–What Are You Reading?
I'm sure others in this group would also benefit from hearing about The Human Side of Cancer.
I look forward to hearing more about how book-therapy is helping you. Will you post again about what you are gleaning from this book?
On your recommendation, I ordered the book yesterday. I am always open to reading about others' experiences and thoughts on different topics!
We'll compare notes, okay?
So far in my read it’s mostly the same information and advice here on this forum only from a clinical psychologist perspective.
I found it interesting the way different people have different coping skills presented. It has help me realize my role and my rationale as I filter all this new information.
For me I am having different feelings based on my condition for that day of treatment. As I enter my 4th week of treatment the fatigue and side effects are starting to arise.
Over the last couple of days I’ve gone out without a hat proudly showing off my radiated hairline challenge. Yet I struggle with the black-n-blue needles marks on my hands and arms.
It’s strange how it’s the little things that are bothering me. But my willingness to to share is my new power. As I look toward success in the treatment plan.
@ce1b Well, I had a reply typed out, and it disappeared. Dang.
I have the marks you speak of, too. My arms look like a battlefield that I lost on! Long sleeves all year 'round for me.
Your new power of sharing is powerful! You'll never know who will be thankful for you doing that, who may read your words and feel boosted in spirit.
Have you considered journaling your thoughts, and even if you never share them to anyone else, you might look back in the future and be surprised. Here is a discussion on journaling: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/journaling-the-write-stuff-for-you/