For many people, chronic myelogenous leukemia is a disease they will live with for years. Many will continue treatment with imatinib indefinitely. Some days, you may feel sick even if you don't look sick. And some days, you may just be sick of having cancer. Self-care measures to help you adjust and cope with a chronic illness include:
Jan. 17, 2014
- Talk to your doctor about your side effects. Powerful cancer medications can cause many side effects, but those side effects often can be managed with other medications or treatments. You don't necessarily have to tough them out.
- Don't stop treatment on your own. If you develop unpleasant side effects, such as skin rashes or fatigue, don't simply quit your medication without consulting your health care professionals. Likewise, don't stop taking your medications if you feel better and think your disease may be gone. If you stop taking medication, your disease can quickly and unexpectedly return, even if you've been in remission.
- Ask for help if you're having trouble coping. Having a chronic condition can be emotionally overwhelming. Tell your doctor about your feelings. Ask for a referral to a counselor or other specialist with whom you can talk.
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/CML/patient. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
- Lichtman MA, et al. Williams Hematology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=69. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
- Integrative medicine and complementary and alternative therapies as part of blood cancer care. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. http://www.lls.org/#/resourcecenter/freeeducationmaterials/treatment/integrativemedandcam. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
- When cancer doesn't go away. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorshipduringandaftertreatment/when-cancer-doesnt-go-away. Accessed Jan. 24, 2013.
- About us. Mayo Medical Laboratories. http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/about/index.html. Accessed Jan. 24, 2013.