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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Colorectal Cancer: In Treatment: Day To Day Living


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Day to day living during treatment will be easier if you consider the following:

  • Think of the food you eat, the exercise you get, rest/sleep and even proper care of your mouth as part of medical care. They are steps you can take to make treatments and drugs most effective. They may also help prevent a recurrence.
    • Eat better. We’d love to say “eat well” but that is likely to require a big change in most diets.  Set doable goals and take one step at a time.
    • If eating is difficult, comfort foods may be easier. 
    • When you feel well, cook up a batch of meals and freeze them.
    • Watch your weight. Do what you can to avoid losing or gaining weight.
    • Check with your doctor about what exercises you can and cannot do, and when you can do them. For example, most doctors do not recommend exercise on the day of a chemotherapy treatment.  Exercise the best you can - but don't push your limits.
    • Practice food safety with food handling, storage and cooking; when eating out. Only drink safe water.
    • Exercise to the extent permitted by your doctor.
    • If you have difficulty sleeping, practice good sleep hygiene. For instance, don't drink caffeine or exercise close to bedtime. For more information, click here
  • If you are undergoing chemotherapy:
    • Ask your doctor which vitamins or minerals may be lost because of your particular treatment.  Also check on what foods contain those nutrients.
    • Ask if you should be taking a multi-vitamin or other supplement. If so, which vitamin/supplement does the doctor recommend?
  • Make your daily schedule more manageable.
    • Prioritize your activities.  As you will see in our finance section, make sure important bills are paid.
    • Postpone the things that don't have to be done right now.
    • Ask family and friends to take over chores they can do for you.
    • Consider time and energy saving techniques.
  • Involve family and friends.
    • Think of them as part of your support team. 
    • Give significant others and friends input about your needs. Ask for help if you need it. People are not mind readers.
    • Your needs are first, but also consider theirs.
  • If you have underage children:
    • Children know when something is off. Tell them about your diagnosis in an age appropriate manner.
    • Keep a routine. 
    • Monitor their behavior. If needed, there are resources to help children cope if a parent has cancer.
    • Make one-on-one time for each child.
    • Involve your children in your care.
  • Do not give up on intimacy. Let your spouse or partner know how you feel about sex. There are other means of intimacy to explore. Ask about her or his feelings.
  • Do what you can to continue to socialize. For instance,
    • Maybe make an appearance for 20 or 30 minutes instead of staying the few hours you normally would.
    • Think ahead of time whether you want to talk about what is going on and if so, what to say. People will tend to take their cue from you about how to react to your diagnosis. Don't be afraid to let them know if you do or do not want to talk about what you are going through.
    • Understand that some people are afraid to speak to you about colorectal cancer and their reactions may be odd. 
  • If needed:
    • Help is available to go from place to place -such as to the treatment center or to the doctor's office.
    • Free help may be available to clean your home.
  • Buy, use and store drugs wisely. Carry a List of Medications with you (and something to use if nausea happens unexpectedly).
  • Keep your home clean (with help if necessary). Do what you can to make home a healing environment. (For information about healing environments, click here).
  • If you have difficulty walking, get a "handicapped" parking permit.
  • Do what you can to keep your home and work place clean and to make them into a healing environment.
  • If you have a pet, ask other people to do chores that could hurt your health. If you do not have a pet, consider getting one. Pets are good for health and longevity. A pet does not have to be a dog or cat
  • Travel is possible if properly planned.
  • Do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

NOTE: Proper day to day living while under treatment includes the following subjects, each of which are discussed in other sections of this site:

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