Guide for Chemotherapy Patients

  1. Avoid persons with colds, infections, or any contagious diseases.
  2. Wear masks if white count is really low.
  3. Eat soft, moist foods if your mouth is sore.
  4. Drink 8-10 glasses of liquid per day to help flush out waste products from chemo so it doesn’t harm the kidneys.  Liquids can be juice, water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, jello, clear soup and ice cream or sherbet.
  5. Eat a diet high in protein and calories to help rebuild and maintain strength.
  6. Do not eat highly spiced foods or those containing acid as they help cause sores in the mouth.
  7. Do not sit in the sun when taking chemotherapy.
  8. Do not go on a diet while on chemotherapy.
  9. Do not take aspirin or anything containing aspirin as it can interfere with platelet function.
  10. Get plenty of rest.
  11. Do not get pregnant while taking chemo or radiation.
  12. Avoid stress as much as possible.
  13. Think of the cancer cells as going out of your body while taking chemo and radiation.  Use imagery.
  14. Make goals to live for; make goals for 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years.  Write them down and look at them often.
  15. Wash hands often for at least 20 sec., and work up a good lather.  Rinse and dry thoroughly.  Carry “Wet Ones” and antibacterial lotion such as Suave and Purell to get germs off of your hands.
  16. Use facial tissues or paper towels to turn faucets on and off, to open and close doors, to use on escalator or stair railings when away from home.
  17. Go to the dentist before starting chemotherapy.
  18. Keep your mouth moist by drinking a lot of water, sucking ice chips, and using sugarless gum or sugar-free candy.
  19. Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue with an extra-soft toothbrush which has been softened in warm water after every meal and at bedtime.  Use fluoride toothpaste.  Avoid mouthwashes with alcohol in them.
  20. Rinse your mouth several times a day with a solution of ¼ tsp. baking soda and 1/8 tsp. salt in one cup of warm water.
  21. Pamper yourself.  You deserve it.

(These suggestions come from doctors, cancer patients, and literature.)