CAN I STILL WORK?
- Some people are able to work full-time during radiation therapy. Others can work only part-time or not at all. How much you are able to work depends on how you feel. Ask your doctor or nurse what to expect from your treatment.
- You are likely to feel well enough to work when you first start your radiation treatments. As time passes, do not be surprised if you feel more tired, have less energy, or feel weak. Once you have finished treatment, it may take a few weeks or months to feel better.
- You may need to talk to your employer about adjusting your schedule, reducing the number of hours you work, or working from home (if you can).
SHOULD I EXERCISE?
Ask your doctor about exercise. It may help you sleep better and control some side effects. Exercise is also good for your body and sense of well-being.
- Exercise during those times of day when you have the most energy.
- Even small amounts of exercise can help. Instead of jogging, try walking or a stationary bike.
- If you are unable to walk, you can lift 3–5 lb. weights in a chair, and do leg lifts or stretching exercises.
- If you do not know where to start, ask your care team.
WILL TREATMENT MAKE ME RADIOACTIVE?
- External radiation therapy will not make you radioactive. You don’t have to worry about being physically close to family and friends.
- Internal radiation therapy means that radioactive material is put into your body. In some instances, you will have to take certain precautions for a short time. Your care team will tell you what you need to do to keep others around you safe.
HOW CAN I COPE WITH MY FEELINGS DURING RADIATION THERAPY?
Living with cancer and undergoing treatment can be stressful. It is normal to feel anxious, depressed, afraid, angry, frustrated, helpless or alone at some point during radiation therapy.
- Many people find it helpful to talk with others who are going through the same process. To meet others, think about joining a support group. These groups meet in-person and online.
- Try relaxation or meditation exercises. Some people find prayer helpful.
- Exercise can boost your mood. Try activities like walking, biking, yoga or water aerobics.
- Speak with your nurse or doctor about consulting with social services or pastoral care. Our experienced, compassionate team is here to help you cope.