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.

Having trouble?

  • 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.

The don’ts

  • 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.

Cautions

  • 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.