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Cancer – Chemo and Family Members

Sanjay Juneja, MD Sanjay Juneja, MD February 8, 2021
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Transcript

"If somebody in your family is undergoing chemo, there's a couple of things you kind of want to anticipate or expect. Chemotherapy is hard. Depending on the regimen, some are a lot harder or more forgiving than others, but for the most part, patients are going to be wiped out for a while after chemo. Generally the max fatigue or lack of energy happens about seven days out is when the counts kind of fall and you're getting the max effect of the chemotherapy, but it's not abnormal for a family member to just kind of want to lay around. Sometimes they just need to get their energy back, because it's really bringing down, not just their counts in the cancer cells, but in some way, affecting them as well. Chemotherapy is not something where if you hold a baby around children, you don't need to worry about it kind of like, you know, radiating, but it is something that I think requires patience and compassion, and it sometimes requires a change in schedule and how you do things.

So usually right before you get your treatment, that's usually when you want to eat the most, because you're going to lose your appetite five to seven days, if you're going to lose it, it'll be five to seven days after the treatment. So you want to really boost up your meals and your caloric intake right before the treatments, as well as right kind of when they're completed. Whereas in the middle of your treatments is when the appetite's going to be the least. If you're gonna undergo chemotherapy before it starts, it's always a good idea to try to boost up your calories as well. If you have been losing weight due to like a head and neck tumor or, you know, a GI tumor that's maybe been causing weight loss. So I think it takes very dynamic understanding and patients, which of course, if you're watching this, you are caring about your loved one and more than anything, just ask your doctor if it's normal and they'll be happy to share those things with you."z

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