Managing Your Nausea and Vomiting
Use these hints to help prevent or manage nausea and vomiting that may develop as a result of your cancer therapy.
Share experience … gain knowledge.
- Speak freely with others.
- Try tricks that others have discovered.
- Ask questions about side effects that you may experience.
- Find out when side effects occur and how long they last.
- Prepare yourself as best you can.
- Always remember that you are not alone.
Make meals work for you.
- Identify foods that you can eat even while nauseated.
- For ideas, think of foods that you enjoyed as a child.
- Keep these foods on hand.
- Cook foods before your nausea usually begins.
- Jello, tea, colas, broth, ginger ale, and crackers may be easy to keep down.
- If your appetite has decreased, switch from three large meals a day to six small ones.
It’s all in the presentation.
- Make mealtime pleasant for yourself.
- Set the table with your best dinnerware.
- Add candles or flowers to set the right mood.
Prevention is your best bet.
- Take your antinausea medication as advised.
- Your medication is scheduled to prevent nausea from occurring.
- Remember, nausea is easier to prevent than to treat.
During treatment …
- Bring sugarless mints or lemon drops to chew.
- Listen to relaxation tapes just before and during your treatment.
After treatment …
- Plan to rest when you return home from treatment.
- Sleeping through nausea is often effective.
- If you are anxious, use prerecorded relaxation tapes of the sound of waves, thunderstorms, streams, or waterfalls.
- Consider creating your own tapes by combining existing tapes with your favorite music and instructions for progressive muscle relaxation.
- Whatever you do, don’t become discouraged.
- Many measures are available; you only need to find the ones that are right for you.
- Work with your nurse to develop a plan that will work.
- Don’t be afraid to mention that you are still getting nauseous.
At all times …
- Focus on feeling healthy, being well, and getting better.
- Think about the time when your therapy will be over.
- Imagine getting well with your side effects behind you.
- Don’t assume that you are alone in this. Support groups can help. Redmond offers a variety of support groups and welcome you to join us. <link to support groups page>
- Try to have someone else prepare your meals. You may have a better tolerance to food if you don’t have to smell it beforehand.
- Avoid stress while you eat.
- Don’t eat before therapy, or only eat a light meal.
- If your medication makes you drowsy, have someone bring you to the clinic and then take you home.
- If you become ill after your treatment, bring the necessary equipment to manage this on the way home.