When you know about what’s going on with your body, you feel more in control. But it isn’t always easy to take in all the details the doctor gives you. During an office visit:
Write down questions before you go and bring them with you.
Take notes so you can recall key info later.
Ask questions to be sure what the doctor says makes sense to you.
Bring someone with you so you have an extra set of ears.
Both lung cancer and the treatments for it can make you more tired than usual. Keep track of how you feel during the day. Take naps if your body needs it. And take heart -- the fatigue may not stick around. Your energy could come right back once you’re done with treatment.
Healthy food provides a much-needed boost for your immune system. Eat well and you’ll:
Have more energy
Handle side effects better
Lower your risk of infection
Heal and recover faster
You may not always feel like eating during treatment, but don’t skip meals because of it. A nutritionist can help you find the best food to fuel your body.
As long as your doctor says it’s OK, try to move your body in some way every day. Whether it’s biking, swimming, yoga, or walking, physical activity can:
Boost your energy
Lower your stress
Increase your appetite
Raise your spirits
Focus on Your Feelings
Finding out you have cancer is a major turning point. If you have a history of depression or a lot of stress in your life before now, you’re more likely to have a hard time with your cancer diagnosis. Facing your illness will help. Talk to friends or a health professional about how you’re feeling.
Follow A Healthy Lifestyle
It’s easy to fall back on bad habits to help you get a handle on your stress. But smoking, drinking alcohol, eating too much, and not getting exercise aren’t good for your quality of life. Take care of your body and lean on friends and family. These things will keep you on track as you heal.
Keep Track of Side Effects
There are many different treatments for lung cancer. Not every medication affects every person the same way, but some of the most common reactions are:
Nausea or vomiting
Low iron in your blood (anemia)
Let your doctor know about these problems as soon as you can. Medications can ease many of them. Lifestyle changes can also help you feel better.
Stay In Touch With Your Doctor
Your health care team is there to help you make decisions, set goals, and get the care you need. Make sure they know what’s going on with you. Keep your appointments -- your treatment plan works best when your team knows how it's affecting you.
Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer (not counting skin cancer). Many support groups and online resources can put you in contact with other people who are also living with this disease. Being part of a support system that “gets it” can provide answers to your questions and remind you that you’re not alone.
American Lung Association: “A Life Change,”
American Cancer Society: "Fatigue," "Benefits of Good Nutrition during Cancer Treatment," "Treatments and Side Effects," "Talking With Your Doctor," "Learn About Cancer."
National Cancer Institute: "Keep Up With Your Daily Routine," "Psychological Stress and Cancer," “A Snapshot of Lung Cancer.”
American Psychological Association: “Coping with a Diagnosis of Chronic Illness."