Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or is coloured. If you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or your iscoloured is abnormal or low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. Your heart needs to work harder when your cells do not get enough oxygen. You may feel like your heart is pounding or beating very fast. Anemia can also make you feel short of breath, weak, dizzy, faint or very tired. Some types of chemotherapy cause anemia because they make it harder for bone marrow to produce new red blood cells.
Ways to Manage Anemia:
- Get plenty of rest. Try to sleep at least 8 hours a night. You might also want to take one to two short naps (one hour or less) during the day.
- Limit your activities. Do only the activities that are most important to you. For example, you might go to work but not clean the house, or you might order take-out food instead of cooking dinner.
- Accept help. When your family or friends offer to help you, let them. They can help care for your children, pick up groceries, run errands, drive you to your doctor’s visits, or do other chores you feel too tired to do.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Choose a diet that contains all the calories and protein your body needs. A high-calorie diet will help to maintain your weight, and extra protein can help repair tissue that has been harmed by cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietician about the diet that is right for you.
- Stand up slowly. You may feel dizzy if you stand up too fast. Your doctor or nurse will check your blood cell count throughout your chemotherapy. You may need a blood transfusion if your red blood cell count falls too low. Your doctor may also prescribe medicine to boost (speed up) the growth of red blood cells or suggest that you take iron or other vitamins.
Call your Doctor or Nurse if:
- You feel unusually fatigued and are not able to do you usual activities
- You feel dizzy or like you are going to faint
- You feel short of breath
- It feels like your heart is pounding or beating very fast