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Self-Care While Living With Blood Cancer

In this forum, we'd love to hear from those who have faced the unique challenges of living with blood cancer. How do you prioritize self-care amidst the complexities of your condition? Share your insights, strategies, and experiences so that we can learn from one another and foster a supportive community for individuals navigating this journey. Your wisdom can offer valuable guidance to others seeking ways to prioritize self-care and improve their overall well-being while dealing with blood cancer.

  1. My self-care items are rather simple.

    First ... I needed to remember to consume more water than I thought needed. Typically 75 to 90 oz a day were needed to help things moving as the chemo treatments easily resulted in significant bowel blockages and even hospitalization
    Second... Find healthy foods that offer some taste or sense of taste. For me anything cooked with tomato sauce was appealing . While I had lost my sense of taste some highly seasoned foods were ok. Early on I tried to eat a turkey sandwich on whole wheat -- it did not go well. That said a ham sandwich on rye bread along with mustard was ok. I learned to experiment with foods and after a while developed a core of "health go to foods"
    Third... Dark chocolate for some reason offered some taste but I kept it to one or 2 squares a day. Sweet things in general offered some taste sensation. I also found that tonic water offers some taste and also appeared to help leg cramps.
    Fourth ... I gave myself permission to be alone when needed and slept when tired.
    Fifth ... I make every effort to be kind and gracious to everyone around me. Why? Blood cancer not only impacts the patient , it is also impacts those close to you in so many ways.

    1. Maybe your problem with the turkey sandwich was your body telling you that turkey (from the deli) isn't good to have when immunocompromised. I'd have to go look up the reason why but I remember being told there is something in it that makes it bad for us to have when immunocompromised. I believe that pregnant women aren't supposed to have it either. Of course when I couldn't have it after my transplants, it was one of the thing that I craved! All of those are good points BTW!

    2. great tips! Thank you for posting!

  2. My number one tip now is to allow yourself to rest when you need to and not push yourself too hard. It's difficult to slow down when you want to get a lot done but it is not worth the pain, fatigue and other consequences of taking it too far.

    1. Whole heartedly agree Susan!

  3. Well said . It sounds like you have learned from experience.
    Take care of yourself,
    Doreen (Team Member)

    1. Self Care is so vital on this journey! Just as important as the treatment, if not more!

      1) Take time for yourself to do whatever just makes you happy and brings you peace
      2) Have quiet beautiful moments
      3) Go ahead and eat it!!! We spend so much time watching our diets or trying to eat.. when you crave that special guilty pleasure... INDULGE!! Enjoy your life!
      4) Rest when you need it, don't push yourself. I know we all want to get back to "Normal" but sometimes you just have to slow down or even hit Pause. Have a seat, take a nap, take some deep breaths... etc...
      5) GO TO SLEEP!!! This has been most important for me. When you are sleepy, go to sleep. It's ok. We must get adequate sleep to recharge, restore and recover daily.
      6) Spend time with friends and family. Chat, go for a meal, shopping, a movie or whatever connects you... just stay bonded. There is so much healing there!!
      7) Laugh! A day you aren't laughing is a day you aren't living!! Don't let this overwhelm you!
      😎 Invest in good smells (if it doesnt make you sick) Candles are so calming
      9) Proper nutrition and hydration. I can't always eat food. I just cant digest it. But I keep protein shakes on hand. I also buy 2 sizes of bottle water 8oz and 16.9.oz. I have a small fridge in my bedroom and it helps to keep both sizes on hand... im always sipping..

      ~Leya - Team Member~

      1. great advice! Thank you! I should do all of these things more. I know I don’t rest as much as I should as I try to be as normal as I can. Some days it works but other days it doesn’t. Self care is so important and I need to be better at it

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