A Guide To Self-Care During Kidney Cancer Treatment

If you're currently undergoing treatment for kidney cancer, chances are you're in the midst of one of the most challenging periods of your life. It's never been more important to practice good self-care than it is now—so what are some things you can do to look after yourself while your kidney cancer treatment is ongoing?

Don't neglect the basics: stay hydrated, eat well, and take what exercise you can.

When life is feeling upended it can be easy to slip into bad habits and neglect to maintain good ones. It's important that you try to eat healthily (whatever that means for you, and in consultation with your doctor) during treatment, as well as making efforts to stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Don't push your body to exercise more than is good for it, but a gentle walk in the fresh air every day can do wonders.

Track your side effects using an app our journal.

Cancer treatment will almost always leave you with some side effects, but many of these can be mitigated by your medical care team—if they know about them. By tracking how you feel, how severely, and how often, you'll be able to help your doctors build up a picture of the ways your treatment is affecting you both physically and mentally. This is all data they can use to tweak your treatment regimes to work for you as well as they can.

Find a therapist who has experience working with people who have cancer.

Everybody who receives cancer treatment will find that it has some impact on their mental health; it's a normal and healthy reaction to a difficult time. The right therapist can be a godsend for helping you figure this out and work through your emotions. This is true even if your existing support network is excellent: there will be times when you have thoughts and feelings you aren't comfortable sharing with your family or friends, but a good therapist will listen to these and help you figure them out. Many therapists have experience working with cancer patients and survivors, and it's a good idea to look out for that if you can.

Protect yourself against dangerous claims and people trying to make a profit.

There is a place for complementary medicine in cancer treatment—but it needs to be complementary and not alternative. Work alongside your doctors and medical support team to figure out how best you could use these other types of care, but don't disregard what they say in favour of someone whose qualifications aren't in conventional medicine.