Treatment and feeling poorly

Grace was diagnosed with a tumour and had six courses of chemotherapy. In this video, she talks about the side effects of treatment and gives advice to others who have just been diagnosed. 

Your questions

Social worker Liz and nurse Jeanette answer some frequently asked questions by children CLIC Sargent supports:

How can I let me school friends know what is going on when I am not at school? 

People might send you cards and letters when they find out you are poorly so you can write back to them if you like. If you have a phone, you can also phone or text your friends, or if it’s a smartphone, ask your parent or carer to download apps like Skype or FaceTime so you can see who you are talking to. Some schools can even set up a computer with Skype in the classroom! You could also write updates of how you are that could go on a school message board for your friends to read.

Chemotherapy makes me feel really sick. Is there anything I can do to feel better?

It’s very common for people to feel sick when they have chemotherapy. It’s important to tell your doctor or nurse if you’re feeling or being sick. There are lots of medicines which can stop you being or feeling sick, but it may take a few goes to find the one that works best for you. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like eating much. Make the most of the times when you do feel hungry, and have small snacks and drinks throughout the day if you can’t manage big meals.

I feel tired all the time and not up to doing much. What can I do when I’m tired so that I don’t get bored?

Feeling tired can be annoying, especially if you love being active! Watching a DVD with your family or friends is a good choice because it isn’t too tiring. It might sound strange, but getting a bit of exercise can help when you feel tired too. Your care team can give you some ideas if you like.

My chemotherapy treatment makes me feel so tired. What can I do?

Cancer treatment often makes people very tired, and this can make it hard to do the things you usually enjoy. Rest and sleep whenever you can and remember to have some quiet time away from computer games as this can help you sleep better. Sometimes doing a bit of exercise, like going for a walk might help you feel more energetic or think of things to do with friends and family that won’t make you feel too tired, like watching a DVD or doing some crafts.

My skin is really sore and itchy where I had my radiotherapy treatment. Can I do anything about this?

Radiotherapy is like a really strong X-ray and often makes your skin sore, red and itchy, like when you have sunburn. Avoid using perfumed soap and putting sticky dressings or tape on the area, unless your radiotherapy team has told you to, and protect your skin from sun and cold wind. Your radiotherapy team can also give you advice about how to look after your skin so it’s important to talk to them if your skin gets very sore.

Updated September 2015, next review due 2018.