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Summer is the time for fun outdoor activities. Swimming, picnicking, and boating are among the top of the list. However, if you’re battling cancer, summer poses lots of risks that may not be as bad for others. If you’re going through chemotherapy, radiation, or other types of treatment, side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and hair loss can be worse when temperatures rise. Spending a lot of time in the sun can intensify these side effects and harm your health. Fortunately, you can take action to potentially prevent these side effects from becoming worse.


Here are some tips to enjoy your summer outside while dealing with cancer treatment.


Stay hydrated. You may lose your appetite for foods and liquids if you’re undergoing chemotherapy. This and other treatments also can affect your kidneys. This means it’s extra important to monitor how many fluids you’re drinking throughout the day. Two liters per day is recommended. If you’re spending time outside, drink even more. If you become dehydrated, you may experience cracked lips, feelings of weakness, dizziness, or fatigue. Dehydration can lead to heat stroke or kidney damage. It also may worsen vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and other side effects of cancer treatment.


Protect your body from the sun. If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapies, you are at increased risk for skin toxicity when exposed to the sun and UV rays. If you have burns from radiation treatment, going out into the sun can make them worse. Wear lots of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50, a wide-brimmed hat, and light colored, protectant clothing with long sleeves. Stay in the shade as much as possible.


Avoid activities that can lead to infections. Since chemotherapy can result in decreased white blood cell count, receiving chemo can increase your risk of developing an infection. Swimming in lakes, eating food that’s been in the sun, and other activities can cause infections and other illnesses if you have a weakened immune system. To potentially prevent this from happening, bring your own food and properly store it. Sit in a lawn chair while others swim. Limit how much time you spend outdoors. Overdoing it can cause lasting damage to your health.


Fighting cancer requires a lot of preventative action. If you or someone you know has the disease, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.


Physical and mental clutter can wear down anyone. This is especially true if you’re battling cancer. Whether the clutter is due to things lying around your home or unhelpful thoughts running around your head, you need to clear the areas. Making physical and mental space allows you to move around unencumbered. It eases anxiety and stress, making things a bit easier as you move forward.

Follow these tips to reduce the physical and mental clutter in your life as you

move along your journey with cancer.

Create a to-do list. Include the medical appointments you need to make and self-care items like massages and haircuts to set up. Reduce your stress by creating space for good things to come your way.

Put things you use all the time into easily reached places. Similarly, put things you use less

frequently in places that are less easily reached. Put things you rarely use in hard-to-reach areas.

Get rid of the items you don’t need. When you see something that doesn’t make you feel good or that you haven’t used recently, either store it or get rid of it. Freeing up space to move and attract good things improves your energy.

If you’re battling fatigue, work in small areas like one shelf or drawer at a time. Or, set a timer

for 10 minutes at a time and see how much you get done. Try these tactics a few times each

week.


Get in the habit of looking for unused items as you go about your day. When you open a

bathroom drawer, throw out dated and unused items. When you go through a dresser drawer,

throw out socks with holes or missing mates. Get in the habit of putting back things when you’re done using them.


Getting rid of physical and mental clutter during your journey with cancer provides peace and calm among a time a stress and worry. For additional support, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org.



Fatigue may be defined as a feeling of physical and mental exhaustion caused by exertion. However, if you’re fighting cancer, this definition may differ. You might wake up feeling tired, with every muscle in your body aching. Or, it may seem like a heavy weight is bearing down on you. Because of fatigue, you may need to cancel an activity, or crawl into bed right away when you get home. As a result, it may be helpful to know what causes fatigue and how you can combat it.

Here are some ideas about what causes fatigue during a journey with cancer and how you can fight it.


Although it’s not known why fatigue occurs during a battle with cancer, it may be because of the proteins, called cytokines, that cancer releases. Fatigue may be caused by organ damage, muscle weakening, or hormone alteration. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy, or other treatments also may contribute to fatigue. They target cancer and healthy cells, making it difficult to stay energized. Anemia from the cancer, anxiety, insomnia, lack of exercise, improper nutrition, and other issues can worsen fatigue.

If you’re experiencing fatigue during your journey with cancer, let your doctors know. Your primary care physician should join with your oncologist to help you fight fatigue. They may recommend light exercise, such as the Livestrong program at a local YMCA.

Be sure you listen to your body and take it easy. Do what you need to do to conserve your strength for the things you need to do, especially going to medical appointments.

If you or someone you know is on a journey with cancer, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.

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