25 Practical Tips for Patients

Living with a serious disease is not easy. Try these 25 practical tips to help you throughout your treatment.
  1. Adopt a fighting spirit.
  2. It's okay to discourage false cheerfulness and to share how you're feeling.
  3. Seek support from your family and friends.
  4. As a member of your health care team, learn about your disease and ask questions.
  5. Be an active participant in your treatment and recovery efforts.
  6. Make positive changes in your lifestyle that will improve your outcomes, such as quitting smoking, incorporating exercise and getting good nutrition.
  7. Find something to laugh about each day. Good humor is healthy for the body and soul.
  8. For safety's sake, when not feeling your best, ask for transportation assistance to your medical appointments.
  9. Participation in a support group can help you learn from others.
  10. Pay attention to how you are feeling and get plenty of rest, good nutrition, and take time for personal care.
  11. Find ways to express your feelings by speaking with a mental health provider or a cancer center social worker.
  12. Consider complementary therapies, such as massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga to help relieve stress and other symptoms.
  13. Just be yourself and continue to do the things that you already enjoy doing.
  14. Continue your current sports activities as much as physically possible.
  15. Allow yourself private time apart from your family and friends to do nothing, or something important to you.
  16. If you are currently employed, continue to work if physically possible.
  17. Practice guided visualization and/or meditation.
  18. Nourish yourself spiritually through prayer or guidance from a religious leader.
  19. Listen to relaxing music that can bring about serenity.
  20. Read uplifting books.
  21. If you have a significant person in your life, keep the romance going by selecting romantic movies to watch.
  22. Take time for simple pleasures, such as a warm bath, a manicure or pedicure.
  23. Keep in mind that your memory function and energy level will fluctuate according to your treatment and medications. Let your caregiver know when you need help.
  24. Consider writing down your feelings in a journal.
  25. Keep a calendar and or log of activities and appointments to help stay organized.

Print this page, or download a three-fold pamphlet: 25 Tips for Patients