How chemotherapy may affect your everyday life
Even though chemotherapy treatment can cause unpleasant side effects, some people still manage to lead an almost normal life during treatment. But this depends on the type of chemotherapy you’re having.
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Even if you feel unwell after chemotherapy, you may recover quickly and have time to do the things you usually do before your next cycle. If the cancer is causing symptoms, your chemotherapy may make you feel better by relieving them.
Some people are able to go to work with time off and shorter working hours.
You may not be able to do some of the things we usually take for granted. But, depending on how you feel, there’s no reason to stop going out or visiting friends if you plan ahead.
If you’re going out for the evening, try to rest during the day so you have more energy at night. If you’re going out for a meal, take anti-sickness tablets - if you need to - before you go.
If you have an important social event coming up, ask your doctor if your treatment date can be changed so that you feel as well as possible for the occasion.
For most people, having the occasional alcoholic drink shouldn’t affect your chemotherapy treatment. But it’s best to check with your doctor or nurse first.
Holidays and vaccinations
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If you’re going abroad on holiday, it’s important to remember that you should not have any ‘live’ vaccines while you’re having chemotherapy. These include:
MMR (the triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella)
There are some vaccines that you can have if necessary.
If you’re travelling abroad, ask your doctor if you need any vaccines and whether it’s safe for you to have them.
Sometimes people who have, or have had, cancer can find it difficult to get travel insurance.
We have more information in our section on travel and cancer.