It's Not Poison – It's Your Life Saving Elixir

If you’re starting chemotherapy, you might be freaking out. Remember, lots of people have braved this path and many more will follow. My top tips:


It’s Not Poison. It’s your lifesaving elixir.

Say it with me: chemo can save your life. If someone refers to it as poison, remind them of what it really is: a gift. Don’t say “poison.” Say “thank you.”


It’s Scary.

Go ahead and indulge your fears. Then, pull yourself together. We do what we have to do.

Ignore the Fine Print.

That chemo education session? Listen with one ear. It’s like those disclaimers after advertisements for meds. They have to say the scary stuff to avoid getting sued. Enjoy a little daydreaming.


Let Go.

If you’re a worrier, try to use one of your greatest assets. That’s right, your brain. Men, women and children have been getting chemo for decades. You’ll probably get through it, too.


Chemo Nurses Rock.

Every day they put on their hazmat suits and deliver this critical medication. Let them inspire you.


Bring Stuff.

Your blanket. Your teddy bear. Your headset. Ginger ale. Good books. Crackers. Whatever. Try to make yourself comfortable.


About Your Hair …

I tried to save mine by freezing my head with gel caps. When I realized it wasn’t working, I saved a lock in my recovery journal. As horrifying as it is to go bald, hair grows back.


Have a Treat.

I’ve always wanted to be skinny and mostly stopped having sweet treats when I discovered boys. After a doctor reminded me of the pleasure of milkshakes, I let myself have anything I wanted that tasted good, and it helped me through chemo.


Lean into Faith.

Cancer, particularly chemo, was an opportunity to strengthen my faith. While I put confidence in the medical experts, I prayed for peace and acceptance. I prayed for it, and I got it.


Attitude Is Everything.

It impacts your experience more than anything else. Lots of people will be taking good care of you. What you can do for them is have a good attitude. Your mindset is your decision. Choose peace. Choose happiness. And know that Doris Day had it right: Whatever will be, will be.

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